HomeBlogRemote Work’s Influence on Housing and Mortgage Trends

Remote Work’s Influence on Housing and Mortgage Trends

Remote Work’s Influence on Housing and Mortgage Trends

Remote work has changed how people work in Canada and their preferences for the properties they own and live in. A big part of the current remote work trend started during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has had a lasting impact. Statistics report that around 5 million Canadians worked from home during that time.

How is Remote Work Shaping Housing Preferences?

More people are embracing working from home and looking for dedicated office spaces or functional workspaces like converted dens or finished basements. Remote workers are also looking for larger outdoor spaces at homes and a quiet lifestyle away from busy urban centres.

There is a growing demand for technology like smart home features with high-speed internet and video conferencing capabilities. A good internet connection is a valuable tool for a remote business or employee, at least partially because they need to collaborate and communicate through business apps like Slack or Microsoft Teams.

  • Remote workers are also looking for lifestyle amenities, such as access to recreational facilities, outdoor living areas, and good proximity to nature.
  • Open floor plans are another preference.  These need to include ample storage areas for leisure and work activities.

As far as the mortgage industry goes, there’s a need for the kind of streamlined, quick processing private lending can bring. Consumers expect digital experiences that include the need for a more secure, agile, and efficient process. 

Brokers and private lenders need to be more aware of digital security in general and adhere to SOC2 compliance practices. As workers become more used to digital and remote work, other experiences like cloud-based documentation e-signatures, remote closings, and virtual appearances are becoming common.

That means brokers and private lenders need to be more aware of data security measures like SOC2. The technology favours private lenders because it makes for a more streamlined and efficient process.

Once again, private lenders are at the forefront of emerging mortgage trends. Private Lenders look at a variety of income sources that separate them from conventional banks. Those can include sole proprietors who also work remotely. 

Lender policies have shifted generally due to these types of jobs. That includes greater flexibility and underwriting standards that account for shifting metrics for employment verification and other factors for people working from home.

How Are Lenders Adapting to a Remote Work-Driven Market Chain That the IT and Computer Sectors Are Getting?

Statistics report the top industries for remote work are in the IT and computer sectors. This was followed by project management, finance, accounting and marketing.  The gig economy, where people needing a mortgage don’t always meet traditional criteria, is expanding. According to statistics, the global market value would reach $455.2 billion last year.

Lenders are becoming more digitally savvy in response to remote work. For example, there are digital tools in place now that can compile policies and lender rates on one platform and update them daily.

A Bigger Emphasis on Remote Customer Service

Private lenders and others are also placing more emphasis on remote customer service. They include online application processes and automated customer support as just two features catering to remote workers. 

Online Applications Streamlining the Private Mortgage Process  

Online applications, in particular, can help further streamline the private mortgage process. This makes them great partners with other fintech tools like e-signature services, credit checks, and digital income verification to enhance customer satisfaction. 

Online platforms offer tools that allow applicants to get answers immediately through live chats and chatbots. Some of these tools provide other options, like calculating mortgage payments and going through different terms.

What Long-Term Impacts Might Remote Work Have on Housing?

With this new trend of remote work underway, it’s reasonable to expect some long-term impacts on the housing market.

  • People are moving away from crowded urban areas to more rural locations. In the long run, this can stabilize and/or lower the prices for the big cities while giving the rural and suburban locations a boost. 
  • There are predictions for changes in home design. For example, functional home office designs are being incorporated into residential layouts that consider factors like ergonomic furniture soundproofing and natural light.
  • With the move to suburban areas, there’s also a predicted reduction in congestion and air pollution in major cities. 
  • The demographic profiles of some Suburban neighbourhoods will change with the shift to remote work. One prediction is that younger populations are moving into rural areas that older retired people previously dominated.

One of the other exciting trends through remote work is decreased public transit usage in bigger cities. That, in turn, is predicted to affect greenhouse gases positively.

Other statistics report that 85% of workers who responded to a survey were interested in fully remote or hybrid positions in 2023.

A full 37% of remote workers are over 55, and that affects mortgage patterns and housing preferences, including home designs and location choices. 

This has had an effect on brokering preferences, mortgage trends, and how conventional and private lenders adapt to these new changes. According to Statistics Canada, it’s essential to consider that the percentage of people working remotely reached 40% in April 2020 and has a sustained shift that stabilized at 25% in 2021 and 2022

Are You Looking for a Private Mortgage?

Mortgage Broker Store focuses on numerous mortgage-related products. One of our priorities is mortgages that don’t meet traditional lending institution requirements. Our team includes private lenders, brokers, and authorized mortgage agents. Let us help you prepare for and get a product that meets your requirements. 
Email ron@mortgagebrokerstore.com or call 416-499-2122.

About Jonathan Alphonso

Mortgage Agent, Web Developer, and Real Estate Investor. Together with Ronald Alphonso I run MortgageBrokerStore.com. I write about a variety of topics on Canadian mortgages and real estate. Our particular specialty is dealing with Ontario power of sale and foreclosure situations.

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