There was once a time when living in a bustling metropolitan was the ultimate dream. Youngsters who have just finished school go to the big city in the hopes of making it big. Living in the city meant you made it. It didn’t matter that rent was too expensive. Life in the crowded city was fun, exciting, and full of promise. Media and television have made city living look fabulous and a sign of success.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic changed everything and made people re-evaluate their priorities. The big, crowded city became a scary place. New York City became an epicenter of the Corona Virus. Now with the temperatures dropping, it would seem that New York’s holiday season won’t be as festive as Corona Virus hospitalizations and deaths are on the rise again. As situations in cities are getting scarier, more and more people are moving to less crowded places. Hence, the sudden surge in the real estate market.
In a survey of 2,000 people, almost 50% said they want to move to a new place to reduce their living costs. Of this number, 12% plan to move to another city, while 8% are planning to move to a new state. 67% of the respondents wanted amenities that they did not consider before, such as a yard or a home office space.
The Surge in the US Housing Market
It was one of the biggest surprises during the pandemic. The year 2020 has seen some unprecedented rise in the housing market. It achieved the highest rate since 2006, and more Americans were buying new homes amidst the pandemic. The demand was so high that the supply could not keep up. Many are taking advantage of the record low mortgage rates and affordable FHA loans.
Despite millions of Americans losing their jobs and an economy going downhill, home sales were going beyond pre-pandemic levels. And it has almost everything to do with the pandemic that has been ravaging the world.
Why Americans Are Moving
There may be varied reasons why many Americans are moving. Here are the most common ones.
They now enjoy flexibility in their working arrangements.
The pandemic had given people flexibility when it came to working. Work from home setup has made it possible for many to work from where they actually want to live. Tens of millions of Americans are planning to relocate. A high percentage of this number are those living in major cities.
They want more living space.
When everyone went out and about their daily activities, small apartments were okay. It would be a little crowded at night, but with everyone going to bed soon, nobody minded. You could go out on weekends if you needed some space.
However, with most people working from home and children opting to do distant and remote learning due to safety reasons, the lack of space could no longer be ignored.
With everyone staying at home, it became more than a place where you go after the end of the day. It is where you work all day. It is where you teach your kids. It is the place where you spend now most of your time and days. The home became too important that those who had the means wanted to upgrade. And upgrade this time does not just mean new interior design or furniture. People wanted more space, preferably with yards and patios, where they can have a relaxing afternoon.
The crowded city just proved to be too dangerous.
The Corona Virus is transmitted from person to person, and one of the ways to avoid contracting the virus is avoiding crowded places. Since going out is limited, families with children had to make do with their apartments’ four walls.
Having a home in the suburbs became more appealing to most. Even before the pandemic broke out, cities were associated with more mental health problems. Compared with rural areas, cities are at a 40% higher risk of depression and 20% more at risk for anxiety. An overload of stimuli, from the population density, noise, pollution, smells, and sights, can cause stress for most people. It gives the brain a constant workout, making it difficult to deal with stress.
People are looking for more affordable living locations.
With unemployment risks and most families having lesser income due to the pandemic, more and more families are looking for more affordable living locations. Nobody knows how long the volatility that the pandemic is causing will last. Given that most people now have the opportunity to work remotely, they would rather live in a place that has a cheaper cost of living.
No one knows how long the surge in real estate demand will last. Some are saying that it will soon taper off. However, it cannot be denied that the pandemic has made millions of Americans re-evaluate their lives and their need for a comfortable and spacious home.