Buyer Interest, Home Prices Jump in Rural Areas
August 18, 2020
It’s hot to live in the country. Housing markets in less densely populated areas are seeing a surge in interest as the pandemic prompts more Americans to social distance.
Nationwide, homes in rural areas saw median sales prices increase 11.3% year over year in the four weeks ending Aug. 2, according to new data from the real estate brokerage Redfin. Suburban area home prices jumped 9.2% during that time, and urban areas also saw an increase of 6.7%.
Since April, homes in rural areas have seen higher price growth than suburban and urban areas, Redfin reports.
“We’ve been speculating about increasing interest in the suburbs and rural areas since the start of the pandemic,” Taylor Marr, Redfin’s economist, says. “Now we’re seeing concrete evidence that rural and suburban neighborhoods are more attractive to home buyers than the city, partly because working from home means commute times are no longer a major factor for some people. And due to historically low mortgage rates, interest is turning into action. There will always be buyers who choose the city because their jobs don’t allow for remote work or they place a premium on cultural amenities like restaurants and bars—which will eventually come back—but right now the pendulum is swinging toward farther-flung places.”
The increasing interest in rural areas and suburbs is likely being driven by the desire for more indoor and outdoor space and the rise in remote work, Redfin notes. Twenty-one percent of buyers recently surveyed say they want a designated place to work from home, and that same percentage also sought more outdoor space.
The typical home under contract in July in a rural or suburban neighborhood was more than 1,800 square feet versus about 1,500 square feet for the typical urban home, Redfin reports.
“Homebuyer Interest in Rural Areas Rises, With Prices Up 11% in July,” Redfin (Aug. 17, 2020)
Updated: January 20, 2021