How the pandemic affects where buyers move

3 takeaway dishes:

More and more buyers are looking for houses in non-work related locations.

The high cost drives people to move further away from metropolitan areas.

Some states have seen an influx of residents.

In this turbulent era, what is certain is that the COVID-19 pandemic has completely changed the real estate market. Low inventory and high demand continue to drive house prices up, as buyers are exploring new markets and considering new places to call home that may not have been available before.

Due to the changes brought about by the pandemic, trends in popular destinations have emerged. The following are some of the factors that are expected to continue to affect buyers in 2021.

Remote work: the new normal

Although remote and virtual work was a growing trend before COVID-19, due to the pandemic, nearly a quarter of the U.S. population is currently working from home. Many experts predict that even after life returns to normal, a considerable part of the labor force will continue to work remotely with a certain ability, which means that buyers are looking for locations that were previously impossible.

Since buyers are no longer associated with geographic locations for work reasons, they are more concerned with taking actions based on lifestyle and quality of life. Moreover, if the trend of remote work continues to develop at the expected rate, more buyers will be willing to stay away from work, away from urban areas and public transportation, because they no longer commute to get off work every day. Therefore, the demand for houses with dedicated office space and other work-friendly functions will continue to grow.

In San Francisco, some technology companies now allow employees to work remotely indefinitely. I know a buyer who is considering moving to North Carolina across the country. Compared with the Gulf region, there is not only a substantial difference in house prices, but he will be able to maintain the current salary level. It is conceivable that this will have a huge impact on his family’s income and savings, and this is the pre-pandemic period he has never considered.

High cost facilitates migration

As people spend more time at home than ever before, many people are weighing the pros and cons of price per square foot and choosing to increase space in rural areas rather than reduce space in densely populated areas.

More and more urban home buyers are also considering relocating to the suburbs for the first time in search of lower housing prices. During the pandemic, many people are forced to move due to income or unemployment.

The appeal of the popular downtown area may not disappear completely. Employment opportunities and the attractiveness of nearby restaurants, entertainment venues and culture will continue to attract buyers. However, 2020 does cause more homeowners and tenants to move to the suburbs, especially in areas with a high number of COVID-19 cases.

Prioritize outdoor activities

As Americans seek easy access to outdoor recreational options, the number of people entering Utah, Oregon, New Mexico, and Idaho has greatly increased this year, and perhaps they want to keep a greater distance from others.

For example, Bend (Ore), Oregon, was recently named the fastest-growing city in the United States. This mountain town is known for its year-round recreational opportunities, healthy lifestyle and outdoor facilities. People from all over the country flocked to make a living for themselves.

The changes this year are so sudden and dramatic that we have no precedent for reviewing these trends. However, what we do know is that the pandemic is still going on and its full impact on the real estate industry remains to be seen. The trends we are tracking may or may not be permanent, but it is worth paying close attention to population movements because these indicators will definitely affect the state of the market in 2021.