One of the biggest real estate trends of 2020 was the migration from major metropolitan areas to smaller cities and second-home markets. The Covid-19 pandemic, coupled with the ability to work and attend school remotely, has motivated many wealthy buyers to seek out larger homes with more outdoor space and privacy, outside densely populated urban centers.
Smaller cities within commuting distance of larger ones that also offer easy access to the great outdoors have been particularly successful over the last year.
Portland, Oregon, for instance, has seen a huge influx of buyers from cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco since the onset of the pandemic.
“The single-biggest driver for Portland real estate historically has been buyers making a lifestyle move, and in 2020 that has become an even bigger thing,” said Jesse Knight of Cascade Sotheby’s International Realty in Portland. “We have much of what larger cities do but also this beautiful setting, and nature surrounding us. We’re minutes to being completely away from the world, which is what migratory buyers are looking for.”
There has also been significant movement into regions that were previously vacation markets, with buyers now looking to live in their favorite holiday destinations for the long-term.
“We’re seeing people moving to Tahoe, which would have been a second home market before, but now they’re looking for primary residences,” said Rainy Hake Austin, president of The Agency. “They want the indoor-outdoor living of the lake, with boating in summer and skiing in winter.”
Potential buyers still considering a move from a major city may wonder whether these trends are likely to continue into 2021, as Americans get vaccinated for the coronavirus and life gradually returns to normal. But real estate experts predict that regardless of how and when the pandemic is resolved, many of these lifestyle shifts will be permanent, and secondary markets like Portland, Sacramento, Colorado Springs, and others, will continue to see fierce competition.
Part of the reason for this is that many large companies, including major tech companies like Twitter and Slack, are offering their employees the option of permanent remote work.
Another lingering factor is the way in which the pandemic has compelled Americans to reassess what matters most.
“Covid has made everyone reanalyze their priorities,” said Eric Scott of LIV Sotheby’s International Realty in Colorado Springs. “The impetus for real estate moves is that people are asking themselves what’s really the goal, and what are they trying to accomplish. For some, it means dumping investments and going to the mountains to relax. And some are trying to buy a house twice as big and bring in extended family.”
This means that buyers looking to make a move in 2021 must prepare for tight inventory and potential bidding wars in secondary cities where sellers have the upper hand.
Check out the full Mansion Global article, click here!