February 22, 2023 4 minute read

Top Trends in Real Estate for 2023

It’s a new year, which means new trends taking hold as people buy, rent and decorate their homes. From design to hot places to live, we’re taking a look at the trends that could shape 2023.


1. Colors get bold

Intense colors and prints will steal the spotlight this year. Whereas last year neutral colors dominated, beiges, grays, and whites are on the way out and will be replaced by a preference for bold colors.

“We are leaving the haven of neutrals and stepping into a rainbow!” says interior designer Pallavi Dean of Roar.


2. Designs get a sensory element

Rich and tactile materials dominate the home landscape. Designers predict that rich materials that introduce a tactile element will be popular this year.

Translation? Materials like lime plaster walls and finish, brick, and natural wool will gain prominence.

According to interior designer Pallavi Dean, “We are craving a ‘multi-sensory palette’. The recent pandemic deprived us of one of our most ‘human’ senses: touch. In response to that, I feel it will become increasingly important for designers to make use of materials that bring tactility to the interior scheme and to devise spaces that provoke an emotion in its users,” says Dean.


3. Sustainability

More and more people are focusing on making their homes sustainable, from decorating with zero-waste items and taking advantage of up-cycled furniture. We’ll see people eschewing big-box stores and opting instead to shop at local small businesses aka more thrift stores and less Target. There will also be a focus on refreshing, rather than replacing, existing furnishings to make them feel new.

According to Tracee Murphy of Trade Mark Interiors, “Being able to tell the story of a piece of furniture is a great conversation to have with your friends and family when entertaining.”


4. Connecting with entertaining spaces 

When designing their spaces, people seem eager to make up for lost time when it comes to socializing with friends and family. Designated spaces to entertain are gaining popularity. Norm Architects partner Frederik Werner predicts that human connection will be a primary focus of 2023 trends.

“Due to the pandemic we have all been more or less isolated – so what we see is a longing for truly connecting and interacting with the world around us again,” says Werner.


5. Bigger is Not Necessarily Better

The trend of buying large homes is ebbing in popularity. During the peak of the pandemic, when buyers were spending more time at home, a bigger space seemed like a necessity. With people working from home and children being home-schooled, renters and buyers embraced homes with enough space to have dedicated offices and play spaces. Now that many people are no longer working from home, and many are looking to move back to urban areas, knowing that the trade off may be opting for smaller spaces.


6. Buyer’s Remorse Kicks in For Some

Many homebuyers regret the purchases they’ve made over the past two years. Some new homeowners say they are not satisfied with their property, citing lifestyle changes, property size, remote location, lack of neighborhood amenities, or a return to full-time office work.

These regrets may mean that more people will look to sell their homes and purchase new ones. Current market advantages, like less competition and slowing growth in home prices, mean that potential homebuyers may change their minds about buying in the near future. However, some discontented affluent buyers may decide to keep their home and fold it into their real estate portfolio. This “change of heart” will represent opportunities for those who waited or could not buy during the height of the boom over the last few years.


7. Boston Area and New Hampshire Remain Popular Moving Destinations

New England continues to be popular with people looking for a home. According to Realtor.com, ten of the 20 hottest housing markets in October 2022 were in New England, including Boston, Worcester and Springfield.

“The Boston metro is the highest-priced market on the list this month, priced 36.7% higher than the next most expensive market, Portland, ME. The median listing price of the Boston metro in October skewed the list’s average price higher,” the report states. “The Northeast in general, and the Boston metro specifically, are hotbeds of activity.”

WalletHub has named Massachusetts the best state to raise a family, according to a recent report. The Bay State was followed by Minnesota, New York, North Dakota, and Vermont. Massachusetts came in second in two key categories, affordability as well as education and child care, and ranked fifth in health and safety.

New Hampshire is also trending as a popular place to live and Manchester, New Hampshire was recently named by Realtor.com as the top-ranking “hottest metro”  area. With the home prices being far lower than those in Boston (The median list price in Manchester was $495,000 in October 2022—compared with $745,000 in the Boston metro area), many home-seekers are viewing it as an alternative to Boston. Work-from-home and hybrid work trends have contributed to making Manchester a realistic living option for those working for Boston-based companies.


If you’re looking to make Boston, Manchester or anywhere in greater New England your home, give us a call at 617.314.9400 or fill out this form to get matched with a Senné Associate and start your search today.

Nina Tamburello


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