While the patterns of how and where we live have barely changed, Americans have new expectations for home. Read whether and how these shifts will stick, with Ipsos research to guide brands and retailers to help people get more out their homes.

What the Future Housing
The author(s)
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Matt Carmichael What the Future editor and head of the Ipsos Trends and Foresight Lab
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Cover of What the Future: Housing
Read What the Future: Housing

Washington, DC, February 12, 2021 – Despite the upheaval of 2020 that forced many Americans to move, or work and learn from home, the housing and migration macrotrends haven’t changed. What has changed is how we live in and use our homes. Those shifts have powerful implications for housing, home improvement, household goods, retailers and brands.

Those are the revelations of Ipsos’ What the Future issue on Housing. Housing data have barely budged since Ipsos’ inaugural 2017 issue that also focused on housing. Back then and today, Ipsos surveyed U.S. adults about their aspirations for home ownership, where they want to live and what factors they value in a community. While the numbers show an acceleration of long-standing trends, Americans now are living at home in ways they weren’t before. More than ever, home is a sanctuary inside and out, and people are moving or investing to make their spaces more functional, flexible and less cluttered.

In this issue of What the Future, Ipsos asks four major questions of the nation’s foremost experts on home organization, demography, labor and housing, and outdoor entertainment: Can our new homes support our newly flexible needs, will the pandemic permanently shift where we live, will we ever go back to our offices and has the pandemic expanded our definition of home?

The issue also features Ipsos researchers’ guidance on what these questions mean for consumers, society and brands. The full issue is here. Below are a few research highlights followed by a topline of the survey results:

  • 49% of adults ages 18-34 have moved or considered moving since March 2020 due to COVID-19 and other events, while 18% of adults with incomes at $125,000-plus have moved.
  • 78% want a detached home and 44% of those who have moved or want to move are heading away from the city.
  • 3x as many households with kids (60%) than those without (21%) have someone e-learning at home, while 46% of Americans are decluttering and organizing in their homes more today than they were a year ago. Among them, 57% of adults 18-34 are decluttering more.
  • 50% of Americans consider the process of homebuying difficult. For 47% overall, the most important factor is finding an affordable home to meet their needs.
  • People are less likely to think their commutes will change as the pandemic has worn on, but of those who do, 45% expect to drive more.
  • 2x as many people with kids at home (24%) than those that don’t (10%) are entertaining friends and family more outdoors.

These are the findings of an Ipsos poll conducted between January 11-12, 2021. For this survey, a sample of 1,111 adults age 18+ from the continental U.S., Alaska, and Hawaii was interviewed online in English. The poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points for all respondents.

For full results, please refer to the annotated questionnaire.

The author(s)
  • Mallory Newall Vice President, US, Public Affairs
  • Matt Carmichael What the Future editor and head of the Ipsos Trends and Foresight Lab