There is an interesting trend that is emerging across the US, as the COVID-19 pandemic sweeps across the country: suddenly, high-density urban living no longer seems like a desirable destination for home seekers.
While potential home buyers have been cooped up, staring at the same four walls during state-mandated or local stay-at-home orders, many have realized the value of backyards and open spaces and less-populated surburban and rural areas. Couple this trend with the previously reported increase in employers embracing work-from-home arrangements, and you have many urban dwellers realizing that they can work from anywhere, and they might as well work from a place where they can still get fresh air and a change of scenery now and then. When commutes are no longer an issue, it opens up a whole host of possibilities!
Senior Economist at realtor.com, George Ratiu, says:
“With the re-opening of the economy scheduled to be cautious, the impact on consumer preferences will likely shift buying behavior…consumers are already looking for larger homes, bigger yards, access to the outdoors and more separation from neighbors. As we move into the recovery stage, these preferences will play an important role in the type of homes consumers will want to buy. They will also play a role in the coming discussions on zoning and urban planning. While higher density has been a hallmark of urban development over the past decade, the pandemic may lead to a re-thinking of space allocation.”
Recently, the Harris Poll surveyed 2,000 Americans regarding housing preferences. Of those surveyed, 39% of those living in urban areas admitted that COVID-19 has caused them to re-evaluate their choices to live in high density urban areas, and the thought of living in less crowded, more spacious conditions is appealing.
Now, Phoenix and Arizona, in general, do not have the urban density of New York City or Los Angeles. However, even prior to the pandemic, Arizona had become a prime location for people escaping the high costs of living in Silicon Valley and other major areas. With more employers looking at the cost of maintaining expensive real estate in high-dollar communities, they may see telecommuting as a potential solution to tame the rising costs of office space. It’s likely that Arizona, and the suburbs surrounding Phoenix, could see an additional bump in population due to this flight from the cities. How much, we don’t really know yet. But as Scottsdale has already been named on of the Top 25 Places to Live by Niche, it’s likely that Phoenix and the surrounding suburban communities are high on many prospective home buyers lists.
One driving force behind continued interest in more rural or low-density living is the drastic improvement in the availability to reliable, high-speed internet access, according to Pew Research Center. This makes telecommuting much more feasible.
This migration of urban dwellers into less-dense communities could have an impact on the availability and affordability of housing, as more competing buyers could drive up home values.
If you are thinking about buying or selling a home, we are here to help! Susan Pellegrini and Karen DeGeorge are ready to put their care and expertise to work for you. Buying or selling, our first-class service comes with a wealth of experience and eye for detail, ready to focus on you. Visit our website to learn more and contact us or give us a call at (480)- 315-1575, we’re here for you.