Suburban Families Look Into Moving As Crises Impact City Life and Work

Posted by Richard on September 8, 2020

The kids love their schools. Mom’s family is nearby. Dad works in the city. So the suburbs, though expensive, work.
But what happens when the schools are closed, friends have fled and Dad spends all his time working from home?
That is a scenario that might open a trend to move away from high-tax states and cities, some experts say.
The movement from top-tier cities like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco began as early as 2017 for many city center residents, but it appears to have gained momentum.
With the onset of the covid crisis, and later the unrest in cities, the glamorous, but highly taxed cities might be starting to lose their luster.
According to a Harris Poll, nearly a third of Americans are thinking of moving to less densely populated areas.
About 43 percent of urbanites have recently considered moving and even browsed a real estate website, according to the poll.
Another survey by the Pew Research Center found that 3 percent of U.S. adults moved permanently or temporarily due to the pandemic. About 6 percent had someone move into their house. The actual number may be as high as one in five, according to Pew.
But according to USA Today, some city residents moved, at least temporarily, because the amenities of the city simply weren’t there. A tiny and expensive apartment in a city isn’t worth much if the city is closed up due to covid. Even public elevators and common laundry areas become suspect when you are trying to maintain social distancing.
According to economists at Zillow and Redfin, it is too early to say if the shift to less populated areas will reverse once the pandemic is over.
It’s probably a good idea not to count out cities just yet, however. After the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, 4,500 residents of lower Manhattan left, but that population rebounded. Since then the population has increased by about 26 percent.
Another factor that could be holding people in place is housing supply. Inventory remains low throughout the country.

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