Suburban Flight: What Happens Post-Pandemic

COVID-19 | Real Estate | What's going on! |

Real estate agents have survived and thrived during the past year, as a series of pandemic-induced motivators converged to put Americans on the move.  Low inventory, rock-bottom interest rates, and a remote workforce with changing attitudes kept agents busier than expected during the health crisis.

Densely populated cities like New York and San Francisco took the brunt of the exodus, as families fled to the suburbs, to vacation towns and to wide-open spaces.

What happens next, as more of the population receives the COVID-19 vaccination, and employers nationwide consider whether to bring workers back to the office?

Some, like millennials craving urban excitement, and workers seeking better pay in industries like food service or hospitality, will likely return to the city, pundits say.  But not all housing markets will benefit equally from the end of the COVID era.

In a flexible work environment, cities with affordable housing in burgeoning tech scenes like Sacramento, CA (a stone’s throw from Silicon Valley), and less-populated cities with warm climates, like Phoenix, AZ; Raleigh, NC; and Jacksonville, FL, could continue drawing homebuyers.

For similar reasons, cities across the lower Midwest and Southeast, such as Memphis, Tennessee and Augusta, Georgia are drawing investor interest.  The National Association of REALTORS (NAR) has listed ten metropolitan markets it sees as open to growth, post pandemic:

  • Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Alpharetta, GA
  • Boise City, ID
  • Charleston-North Charleston, SC
  • Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
  • Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA
  • Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson, IN
  • Madison, WI
  • Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, AZ
  • Provo-Orem, UT
  • Spokane-Spokane Valley, WA

Cities like Des Moines, Iowa and Madison, Wisconsin might also make the post-pandemic interest list, according to NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun, while manufacturing hubs in the Midwest and in the Rust Belt may not see much changes as they have been relatively stable throughout the pandemic in terms of job diversity and lifestyle.

Regardless of what factors influence consumers as we emerge from the worst of the pandemic, real estate agents have learned a lot over the past year, and will likely experience robust activity in 2021 by staying focused on these strategies:

  • Flexibility – Continuing to explore and utilize the alternative approaches they were forced to consider during the past year’s unconventional circumstances.
  • Interaction – Increased communication with clients from the pandemic’s onset has boosted client relationships and loyalty and will likely increase referral and repeat business, going forward.
  • Technical proficiency – Mastery of virtual home tours, video conferencing and social media marketing will differentiate and benefit savvy agents.

To read the original publication from Title Resources, click on Post Pandemic Suburban Flight.

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