Are People Leaving Cities for Rural Areas?

If you’ve noticed a lot more young people moving into your area lately, it’s no coincidence. One of the most interesting side effects of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the way young workers are leaving cities for more rural areas like Monteagle, TN. Since the pandemic has completely changed the way we work, go to school and do business—that is, most of us are doing many of these things remotely—people are leaving cities at a rate of 20 percent over normal.

So, what does that mean for the housing market? Read on to find out.

Why—and how—people are leaving cities

Living in urban areas is often significantly more expensive than living in rural areas. However, cities offer a lot more employment opportunities, entertainment options and socialization. Over time, there has been a “brain drain” from rural areas to cities: college-educated people and professionals flock to large cities because there is more opportunity there.

The downside to living in a city is, of course, the higher costs and less space. But if you’re living in Nashville for work, it doesn’t make much sense to commute an hour and a half from Monteagle.

Now that the pandemic has change our way of living, there’s been a mass exodus from major urban centers. People are leaving at much higher rates—whether it’s because it’s cheaper, they can afford a larger home or because they want the peace and quiet, and maybe all three. More companies are offering remote work opportunities on a permanent basis, too—it turns out a lot people can be just as productive at home, if not more so. (That cuts down on the need for urban office space and other business expenses, so it’s not surprising that companies are interested.)

What does this mean for the housing market?

People leaving cities for rural areas like Monteagle, TN means a couple of things. First, the “brain drain” mentioned earlier is now in reverse. Rural areas are seeing an influx of talent, which in turn creates a demand for entertainment, education and jobs, albeit on a smaller scale. This means more money will be spent in small local economies.

However, when more people are moving to rural areas—specifically to buy homes—that means home prices will go up. If you’re already a homeowner, this is a good thing. Your home will be worth more, and since houses are the average American’s biggest investment, that’s extra financial security.

If you aren’t a homeowner, but would like to be, you should consider buying before the prices go up even more. While there’s no way to predict exactly what the future (and the housing market) holds, it’s safe to say that the pandemic has changed the way the country does business forever. If cities don’t take action to retain residents, people will continue to seek less expensive homes in rural areas.

Looking to buy or sell a home in the Monteagle, TN area? Get in touch with Gooch-Beasley, Realtors today to discuss your options and opportunities.