The Tri-Valley has long been a desirable place to live due to its natural beauty, tight-knit communities, top rated schools, and affordable housing, compared to San Francisco, that is. After spending weeks in cramped condos, home schooling kids and working from home with little to no outdoor space, city dwellers are beginning to look beyond high-rises and to the suburbs. Many could never have imagined leaving the city- until now.

According to the Pew Research Center, only 7% of American workers had the option to work from home prior to COVID-19 whereas 56% have been able to work remotely since. More employers are recognizing the benefits of allowing employees to work from home. We are constantly hearing of companies extending their temporary orders or have even announced their employees will permanently work remotely. While people will still need to be in somewhat close proximity to their office for in-person meetings, there will be less importance placed on cost and time of commuting.

These trends in the job market are leading economists to predict that post-pandemic housing preferences may move away from dense metropolitan areas toward suburban areas with larger homes. Many Americans agree according to a new survey published by Zillow Group. They found that 75% of Americans working from home due to COVID-19 would prefer to continue working remotely once the pandemic subsides, and 66% of those said they would consider moving if their job allowed. Furthermore, city dwellers (43%) were almost twice as likely as suburban dwellers (26%) to have recently browsed a real estate website. Overall, Zillow reported that page views of for-sale listings were almost 20% percent higher than in April 2019.

“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. People are looking to avoid public spaces such as crowded restaurants and bars, even elevators and refrain from shared common areas popular in urban dwellings.

Zillow predicts that larger homes, especially those with extra rooms or home offices, will be in high demand. Less than half (46%) of current households have a spare bedroom that could be used as an office, according to a Zillow analysis of American Community Survey data. That number of course drops in urban areas where space is already limited.

However, there won’t be an exodus out of the city. Buyers could face hurdles with limited housing supply amid strong demand, driven by low mortgage rates and the unknown of the pandemic.

We don’t know how long the virus will be around but the housing market is still strong. There are plenty of Buyers looking for new homes and inventory is still low helping to keep housing prices up. Last week, most Tri-Valley cities reported that the sale price received was 99% of the asking price. If you are thinking about making a change to your living situation, contact Arrive Real Estate Group today to see how we can help!

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