Robert GaccioneDirector of Commercial Lending
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The pandemic has convinced many urban-dwellers that it’s finally time to give up on living in the city. Renters and owners alike are feeling cooped-up and uncertain about the future. As a response, many are making plans to leave the city and not just for short-term stays in weekend houses, as was seen when the pandemic first occurred, but for more permanent housing in the suburbs.
While some of the recent moves have been a product of accelerated plans that had been living on the back burner, others may have acquired a taste for suburban (or even rural) living while sheltering with their parents in spread-out neighborhoods or log cabins. And even after decades of apartment living, those that have called the city their home are seriously considering trading their small rental for their own white picket fence.
A Rise in Desire for Suburban Living
The Harris Poll recently surveyed 2,000 Americans to determine if the COVID-19 crisis had sparked a desire for people to move. Of those currently living in urban areas, 39% indicated that the pandemic had caused them to consider moving to a less densely populated area.
According to FlatRate Moving, between March 15 and April 28, there was a 74% increase of moves from New York to Connecticut, 38% increase of moves from New York to New Jersey, and a 48% jump of moves from New York to Long Island compared to the same period last year.
And while some are renting temporarily to try and escape the worst of the pandemic, a considerable number of those renters are converting to buyers.
However, others are transplanting with the immediate intention to buy. Unsure of whether or not their children’s city schools will be operating in the fall, the perks of a home office while working remotely make the suburbs suddenly more appealing.
Limits on Everyday Activities Inspire Many to Flee to the Suburbs
The city can easily seem like a shell of its former shell as social activities such as grabbing a drink, strolling in the park, or conveniently picking up medication at the pharmacy have become incredibly difficult, if not impossible.
Moving outside the city limits has become easier than ever, especially as many Americans are becoming accustomed to working remotely. With widespread internet access and a spike in the number of people working from home, those living in the city have become more accepting of beginning a life in the suburbs.
However, making the move is not as easy as one may hope as COVID-19 has made shopping for a home more complicated. With in-person showings still banned or restricted in many states, buyers are also navigating a competitive market as many are finding they don’t mind a commute to work in exchange for the well-being of their family.
If you have a home in the suburbs or a rural area, you may see an increase in the number of buyers looking for a property like yours. If you’re thinking of looking for a home outside the city, making the transition is both more feasible and attractive than ever before.