Top 10 Places for Remote Workers to Call Home

September 1, 2020

The real estate industry is closely watching the remote work trend as it could have a big influence on clients' future homebuying decisions. More Americans have been working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but some areas of the country may offer more prime remote work conditions.

Forsyth County, Ga., topped a new study on the best places to work from home, released Tuesday by the National Association of REALTORS®.

NAR assigned “Work from Home” scores to 3,142 U.S. counties, identifying the best places for working remotely. The study considers internet connectivity, the percentage of workers in office-related jobs, home affordability, urbanization, and a county’s population growth.

“The coronavirus pandemic greatly accelerated the number of workers who are able to work from home,” says NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Possibly a quarter of the labor force may be permitted to work from anywhere outside of the office even after a vaccine is discovered—compared to only 5% prior to the pandemic—and this will greatly change the landscape of where people buy homes.”

Texas leads all states with seven counties among the top 30 for remote work, followed by Virginia with four, and Colorado and Georgia with three each.

NAR identified the following top 10 counties for working from home:

  1. Forsyth County, Ga.
  2. Douglas County, Colo.
  3. Los Alamos County, N.M.
  4. Collin County, Texas
  5. Loudon County, Va.
  6. Hamilton County, Ind.
  7. Williamson County, Tenn.
  8. Delaware County, Ohio
  9. Broomfield County, Colo.
  10. Dallas County, Iowa

“With some organizations expanding remote work options and as more people show an ability to remain productive from home, we may see buyers see larger properties that offer space for a potential home office and other features that have become more valuable as a result of this pandemic,” says Vince Malta, NAR’s president. “The growing trend and historically low mortgage rates are spurring potential home buyers to consider a broader range of options and rethink what’s important to them in the long term.”

The growth of remote work will undoubtedly have an impact on the commercial real estate and office sector too, potentially changing the future office sizes and locations.

“The commercial real estate outlook appears uncertain as office spaces may get smaller and organizations consider moving from having a central business district headquarters to several suburban satellite offices,” Yun says. “However, in the retail sector, one can reasonably expect to see some growth in the number of smaller stores in the top 30 counties coming at the expense of similar establishments near downtown office buildings.”

View NAR’s 2020 “Work from Home” counties report.