One of the most significant effects of the coronavirus pandemic in real estate is the widespread movement of the population from major urban centers to the suburbs.
In New Jersey, many of the most desirable suburbs, including the communities in Mercer County and the surrounding areas, have seen an influx of former New York City residents looking to escape the congestion of the big city. And this trend is seen to continue in 2021.
Why are people moving to the suburbs?
Even before the pandemic, the trend of moving to the suburbs has already been observed nationwide, as more millennials come of “marrying age” and decide to set down roots in more family friendly communities.
With the sweeping changes created by the COVID-19 pandemic in all aspects of life, the preference for suburban living has gained even greater momentum, creating what many have called an exodus.
Surveys conducted on New York City residents in 2020 revealed why there’s a growing move to the suburbs:
- Better conditions for working from home
With the pandemic necessitating working from home, the need to live close to offices and financial centers has been reduced, a trend that’s believed to continue even after the pandemic. As many employers have realized, remote working is a highly viable solution that affords greater flexibility to scale up or down, while reducing rent, utilities, and other overhead costs.
As a result, NYC residents have seen the opportunity to uproot themselves and settle in more remote areas where the cost of living and real estate are considerably lower.
For the price of a one-bedroom apartment in NYC, for example, you can find gorgeous homes for sale in Pennington, NJ or houses for sale in Ewing, NJ with two to three bedrooms, top of the line finishes, a large yard, and plenty of space between you and the next door neighbor.
With larger living spaces, you can set up a comfortable home office with more leg room and space for all the gadgets and equipment you need. The generally larger homes in the suburbs also mean more space for everyone in the family to work, study, and play.
- Greater freedom to move around
As the coronavirus pandemic rages, doing essential activities like grocery shopping can be nerve wracking in congested areas like New York City. With more open spaces and generally larger establishments offering better opportunities for social distancing, the suburbs offer a more reassuring experience.
It’s not just grocery stores and shopping centers that provide this kind of peace of mind, but other public places, such as parks and restaurants, as well. With a relatively sparse population compared to large cities, suburbs see less congestion in public areas.
- Better quality of life
One of the advantages of living in big cities is the convenience of having everything you need practically at your doorstep. A mixed use complex, for example, features restaurants, shops, and offices just steps away from residences.
With the closure or limited reopenings of offices and establishments, however, this advantage has been severely reduced. In a study, around 7 in 10 New York City residents cited reduced quality of life as a main factor in their decision to move to the suburbs. The respondents believed the drastically altered lifestyle will continue for at least one more year.
On the other hand, the suburbs have always presented a more laid back and pleasant environment, enhanced by improved walkability and self-sufficiency. Developments like town centers and shopping malls have made living in the suburbs more convenient and pleasurable.
Suburbs are also known to foster a better sense of community where neighbors know each other and look after each other. Residents have more opportunities to contribute to the community’s growth and decision making, and participate in local events
- Favorable mortgage interest rates
The exodus to the suburbs has also been precipitated by the historically low mortgage interest rates that have prevailed since the onset of the coronavirus crisis. As of January 14, 2021, the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage was at 2.79%, just slightly up from the previous week’s all time low of 2.65%.
This has motivated renters in urban areas like New York to take the plunge and become a homeowner, and they look to the suburbs to find more affordable properties that will give them better value for their money.
The federal government has already said that they will keep interest rates low in 2021, so it can be expected that the homebuying trend will continue this year.
Explore your real estate options in sought-after New Jersey communities
Now is the perfect time to move to your very own home in a family-friendly community. We at David DePaola & Company can guide you to the perfect house for sale in Lawrence, Ewing, Pennington, and other beautiful communities in Mercer County and beyond.
Call us today at 609.883.4161 or send us an email at david(at)depaola(dotted)com to get started.