The Covid-19 pandemic has forced millions of Americans to work remotely from home, in turn causing many to reevaluate their living arrangements. In particular, this means leaving cities in favor of more space. FlatRate Moving company in New York City told The New York Times that the number of moves of people moving out of the city between March and August was up 50 percent year over year.
While there’s no conclusive evidence that people are permanently moving out of cities, it’s no secret that secondary markets across the country, namely mountain towns, are seeing an influx of rentals and sales. Both rentals and purchases, including vacation homes, were up in 2020 in Aspen, Colorado; Jackson Hole, Wyoming; Park City, Utah; Big Sky, Montana; and Lake Tahoe, California. Similar to the mad dash for the Hamptons in the wake of Covid-19, these towns are seeing an influx of people coming in and scooping up the most sought-after real estate.
“Homes in the mountains serve as sanctuaries of privacy and security for newcomers and second homeowners,” says Philip White, CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty. “The clean air and space are also a big draw.”
With the vaccine on the horizon, it’s unclear if people will permanently relocate out of cities to mountain towns, but right now, real estate is competitive.
The glamorous ski town of Aspen is no stranger to billionaires and celebrities and now, many wealthy denizens are considering a primary residence in the glitzy town.
“Historically, Aspen, Colorado has been a second home destination; however, since the onset of Covid-19, we have seen an increase in people choosing to make Aspen their primary location,” says White. “Out-of-state urbanites aren’t just buying vacation homes. They are buying homes to move into. In fact, the region is seeing record-high enrollment numbers for daycare, private school and private club memberships.
Unlike other ski towns, Aspen also attracts summer visitors, too, making it a great year-round destination. Coveted listing 711 Willoughby Way is a fantastic Aspen estate with six bedrooms, lush gardens, outdoor dining areas, waterways and courtyards surrounded by nature. Built in 1991, the home sits on 1.37 acres and has glorious mountain views. The home is listed by Tracy Eggleston and Bubba Eggleston of Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty for $23.75 million.
White says other cities experiencing a real-estate boom in Colorado are Vail Valley, Crested Butte and Telluride thanks to world-class skiing, resort lifestyles, restaurants and shopping, plus easy access to Denver, a two-hour drive from many of these destinations.
“Even with social distancing guidelines in place, you can find a quiet trail to hike or bike,” White says. “Even if required to shelter in place, people can live in relative isolation and still partake in the plethora of outdoor activities offered year round that don’t put them at risk of contracting or spreading the virus.”
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