For years, urban living was touted as the new big thing. But suddenly, homebuyers are looking well beyond the city and even existing suburbs for their forever home.
Credit the coronavirus. Its enabling of remote work has spurred buyers to consider relocating to less populated areas—and created a boom in new building far from the urban center.
“Indeed,” reports the Denver Business Journal, “Covid-19 has relegated people to their homes for activities once reserved for commercial real estate. Home schooling, home workouts, home offices — all are driving buyers toward larger residences. And because they’re spending less time commuting, those same buyers are proving increasingly willing to move farther from city centers to larger spaces at affordable prices.”
According to the Denver Business Journal, Denver was among metro areas that saw the largest one-year decline in single-family building permits in 2020 through September. Meanwhile, permits for single-family homes outside of Fort Collins jumped 47%.
Ryan Marshall, CEO of homebuilding powerhouse PulteGroup, confirmed that “buying patterns point to a movement of renters and homeowners from urban centers into surrounding suburbs.” Lennar Corp. told the Journal that it has been busy purchasing land to meet new demand.
“It’s a function of the fact that telecommuting increases the ability of renters and homebuyers to expand their tolerable commute times,” Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders,” told the Journal.