BAM’s Key Details:

  • Zillow data identified the top home trends to watch in 2023. 
  • The list includes home features that became increasingly important during the pandemic, such as outdoor living spaces and privacy.

Every year, new home trends appear as hopeful buyers make their wish lists and homeowners set out to remodel. 

Zillow® data combed through property descriptions to learn more about home features home sellers are highlighting and what home buyers are looking for. And we have to admit—some of the trends are surprising. 

Here are the top five must-have home features for 2023, according to Zillow data and analysis. 

#1: Backyards 

Backyards top the list as one of the most sought-after trends in 2023. Zillow data found that backyards are being highlighted in listing descriptions 22% more often than last year, showing that outdoor space is something buyers are seeking. In addition, mentions of patios increased by more than 13% and pools by more than 11%.

The rising popularity of outdoor features suggests the pandemic has changed the way we want to live for good, priming the backyard for a 2023 evolution. When the pandemic forced all entertaining outdoors, homeowners reclaimed their backyards from the kids or the dogs. Now they’re rethinking how that space could serve as an extension of their home in new, creative ways.

Amanda Pendleton

Zillow's Home Trends Expert

So, what are some ways for your sellers to boost their backyards? Aside from the standard deck or patio, Zillow suspects there will be an increase in outdoor home gyms, natural pools, gardens, and outdoor rooms for everyday activities. Outdoor kitchens and bars are also ways to increase the entertainment factor of a backyard. 

#2: Kitchen Islands

When is the kitchen not on a home trends list? In 2023, it gets more specific than a “chef’s kitchen” and hones in on the island. 

Buyers are looking for spacious multifunctional islands—a place to eat breakfast, do homework, and entertain dinner guests. 

As we redefine the spaces in our homes, kitchen islands are being designed to accommodate dining and entertaining activities in the kitchen rather than the formal dining room. In 2023, we will see a surge of larger and even double kitchen islands using unique colors and materials. 

Kerrie Kelly

Creative Director at Kerrie Kelly Design Studio

Compared to last year, there was a 19% increase in the number of mentions of large kitchen islands. As far as design, Zillow expects to see islands standing out from the rest of the kitchen with contrasting colors or materials. 

#3: Mirrored Walls

We’re not sure how we feel about this one, but according to Zillow, mirrored walls are making a comeback, with a 12% increase in listing description mentions. 

When designed correctly, mirrors can make any room feel more spacious. Unlike the mirrored walls of the 1970s, today’s trend is often antique and applied in a grid. 

#4: Privacy

Every homeowner who has gone through the trouble of knocking down walls will hate this one.

After almost three decades of open floor plans ruling home design, living and working in close quarters during the pandemic left many homeowners rethinking their home’s layout. Listings on Zillow mention privacy or private spaces 7% more than 2022. 

A closed floor plan could be more sought after in 2023, with buyers looking for private rooms for video calls and enclosed spaces for a cozy feel. Those who still want (or already have) an open floor plan can use furniture and design to create a sense of privacy.

#5: Renovations

A new Zillow survey finds 48% of homeowners younger than 40 have tapped the equity in their home, most often for home renovations. Of those who took out a home equity line of credit or second mortgage, 90% haven’t spent all the money. This leads Zillow to think 2023 will be the year more renovations will occur. 

As far as ROI, Zillow expects home projects focused on saving money and the environment (like drought-resistant landscaping and smart-home features) will help boost a property’s value. 

Set Sellers up for Success

Listing agents know how to make a property stand out with staging and design. On top of that, you know what buyers in your market are looking for. 

Still, it helps to have some insight as to what buyers want in 2023. With affordability a major concern, buyers are willing to hold out for the right property. Learning these five features are gaining momentum in listing descriptions shows that trends change. And speaking about what buyers want will set you apart in the slowing market. 

What are you doing to ensure your sellers’ homes are enticing to today’s buyers?