Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people have transitioned to remote work, causing many of them to no longer find value in living near their offices. According to a Redfin study, lots of remote workers are now trading their small, expensive city apartments for more spacious homes in more appealing destinations, like vacation towns and affordable suburbs. At the same time, the housing market in big cities like New York and Washington, DC have been slowing down.
The number one location identified as experiencing the biggest increase in homebuyers in the last year was El Dorado County, CA. This county spans the outskirts of Sacramento to Lake Tahoe and has seen prices increase by 36% and the median number of days houses are on the market fall by 50 days.
Half of these people are coming from the metro Bay Area while the other half are coming from Sacramento. Redfin reports that people working in the tech industry in Silicon Valley are looking for more space, simpler lifestyles, and more affordable living now that they aren’t confined to the city for work.
The rest of the counties in the top 10 were affordable suburbs and vacation towns in Oregon, Illinois, Massachusetts, Washington, DC, New Jersey, Maryland, and New York. Barnstable County in Massachusetts, where Cape Cod is located, saw median days on the market decrease of 46 days. Kendall County in Illinois experienced a decrease of 54 days. And Deschutes County, OR saw median days on the market decrease by a whopping 66 days.
Arlington County, VA is where Amazon’s second headquarters in Crystal City can be found, and this was the number one housing market that slowed down over the past year, according to the Redfin analysis. This county’s median days on the market increased by 12 days over the last year. But even with this drop in homebuying interest, the boom in the housing market throughout the country overall means that even the slowest markets are still experiencing higher home prices. Arlington County, despite its cooling market, still saw prices increase 4% with 23% of homes selling above list price.
Suffolk County, MA where Boston is located, all the counties in New York City, and the District of Columbia are all in the top 10 housing markets that have slowed down the most. These areas all contain homes that sell for almost double the national median. These high prices are seeming less and less justifiable to people embracing remote work, especially as they consider moving somewhere that provides them with more space, connects them with nature, or is simply a more attractive place to settle down now that being close to work may not be a requirement.
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