Exodus Coming?

June 9, 2020
Exodus Coming
Recent sentiment among homebuyers suggests attitudes toward moving to the suburbs are shifting.

Nearly a third of Americans are considering moving to less densely populated areas in the wake of the pandemic, according to new data from Harris Poll. That may foreshadow a shift that would have a major impact on residential real estate sales and home prices. Urbanites (43%) were twice as likely than suburban (26%) and rural (21%) dwellers to have recently browsed a real estate website for homes and apartments to rent or buy, the survey showed, which was conducted among 2,050 U.S adults from April 25-27. “People will be much more cautious about living in high-density areas with so many people nearby,” predicts Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors.

Robin Kencel, a licensed associate broker at Compass Real Estate in Greenwich, Connecticut, has been fielding calls from clients in New York City over the past seven weeks looking to rent or buy properties in the area. Grass, outdoor space and convenience to essentials like groceries is critical to them, she says, as well as fast internet connectivity because many of them are traders who work in the financial services industry. To be sure, economists say it’s still too early to tell if urbanites browsing suburban homes on sites like Zillow and Redfin and taking up temporary shelter in less densely populated areas will develop into a broader trend once the pandemic is contained. But recent sentiment among homebuyers suggests attitudes toward moving to the suburbs are shifting.

Source: USA Today