To paraphrase Bob Dylan (formerly Robert Zimmerman, of Hibbing MN.) “the times, they are a-changin’” – and fast! The coronavirus has led to previously unimaginable changes in lifestyle. In a manner of mere hours, our homes became our offices and classrooms. The convenience of our densely populated cities suddenly became a liability, even a health hazard. And discretionary spending was halted, like a derailed freight train.
Some are predicting that there is no going back; to the cities that is. In a survey of 1,000 city dwellers conducted by Wall Street firm Jefferies, nearly a quarter (23%) said they were planning on relocating to suburbs in the next 18 months. Further they see this migration as a driving force that will cause renters to become homeowners, which will result in an increase in spending on home improvement.
It does not take advanced math to calculate the size of a suburban mortgage that a high-earning couple could take on, in lieu of nosebleed high apartment rent in our central cities. In fact, places like New York and San Francisco are going from property owner’s markets to renter’s markets due to the outflow.