The pandemic-induced furniture shortage is driving demand for pre-furnished homes.
While lockdowns forced Americans to spend more time at home, many used it as an opportunity to redecorate, fueling the online hunt for house decor and stretching furniture supply chains thin.
“People wanted to fix up their homes, create home offices, which created a huge surge in the demand for furniture sales,” CEO of Interior Marketing Group Cheryl Eisen told FOX Business. “That, coupled with the backlog in manufacturing and distribution created this huge domino effect and demand for furniture, and we’ve been noticing that more people than ever are buying the homes furnished with all the furniture in it.”
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Interior Marketing Group (IMG), the largest full-service property marketing and luxury design firm in the U.S., has sold more than 60 furnished homes in New York City this year alone, up from around 30 sales a year ago or 90%. In addition to designing the units, catered to upscale homeowners, IMG models and stages resales, which allows for some of the most coveted properties in the world to sell at greater multiples than the market’s average.
Even though the company has seen growth year over year, the current interest has been unprecedented. Most of the transactions are taking place in the tri-state area, where many people are looking for secondary homes, especially as mortgage rates reach record lows.
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Amid pandemic restrictions in residential building occupancy, pre-furnished homes “make perfect sense” for would-be residents moving into New York or other high-dense urban areas, according to Eisen. Already furnished units also bypass new hurdles to moving in and out of an apartment, including limits on outsiders.
Other real-estate companies are saying that they are selling and renting more decked-out units than they previously had, with some companies reporting that the demand has nearly doubled for both longer leases, as well as short-term ones.
The trend is taking off in the tri-state area, but Eisen said she expects it to permeate places like Miami, where people are seeking refuge from the pandemic.
“New York is always the first to market to set a trend and everything sort of follows after that,” Eisen said. “And now everything is following. I certainly see that trend continuing.”