This occurs as more workers do remote work and no longer need to be in the big city office.
Smaller communities were especially popular with buyers: 48% of home purchases were in small towns and rural areas, a record in data going back to 2003 and up from 32% a year earlier, the NAR survey showed.
Suburbs are traditionally the most popular destinations for home buyers, but the share of suburban home purchases dropped to 39% from 51% the prior year, according to NAR. Only 10% of purchases were urban areas, down from 13% the year before.
Source: Home Buyers Are Moving Farther Away Than Ever Before – WSJ
If remote work proves long lasting, this would be a major life and economic change throughout the country.
I live in a distinct town (not a small town pushed against another city limits) under 30,000, which is defined by the US Census as a “rural” area. Life is pretty good. Others have noticed too. This could have long term impacts on the prices of urban and suburban housing and rising prices in rural areas. Home prices here shot up during the pandemic shutdowns.
People who work from home also drive less, meaning less spent on gas, less need to replace vehicles often – a lot of fundamental changes to the economy could fall out from this trend, if it continues.
Then again, as we appear to be entering a global recession, numerous CEOs have suggested that remote workers will be the first to be laid off. The remote work model might be short lived.