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Remote work has fueled a surge in workers seeking to move from big cities. Brooklyn saw an exodus of 55,700 residents since the start of the pandemic, according to an All Connect survey. (Garin Chadwick photo via Unsplash)

Sales and prices of homes in the U.S. reached record highs in June as the shift to remote work due to the Covid-19 pandemic continues to spur employees to move to more desirable locations, a RE/MAX report found.

The sale of homes surged 14.2 percent “over a strong May,” which topped and “all other months in the 13-year history of the report, which spans 53 metro markets,” RE/MAX said in the report.

The median sales price reached $336,000, also a report record, while the number of homes for sale advanced 1.9 percent over May — the first increase since March 2020, it added. Inventory remained 37.5 percent below June 2020 levels

“People are relocating as companies and individuals make long-term decisions about remote work and getting back to the office,” Nick Bailey, president of RE/MAX LLC, said in the report. “Also, sellers appear to be more confident about finding another home after they sell their current one. If these trends continue, inventory levels should keep growing.”

The length of time that homes stay on market also fell in June. The average days on the market was 24, down four days from May 2021, and a drop of 21 days from June 2020, RE/MAX said, noting that houses in Denver on average sold in just 12 days of being listed.

Bay Area, Brooklyn exodus

The move to remote work has fueled a surge in workers seeking to move from big cities to areas that offer bigger and more affordable homes. As a result, some metropolitan areas have had a drastic decrease in residents.

Cities like San Francisco had a net loss of almost 40 thousand people, while Brooklyn saw an exodus of 55.7 thousand residents since the start of the pandemic, according to an All Connect survey.

“That was something that the pandemic pressed pause on,” Brookings Institute demographer William Frey told All Connect. “People didn’t want to live in a studio apartment when they had to work from home. People didn’t want to live in downtown L.A. when all the restaurants and bars were closed.”

“More space” was the top motivator for remote workers to move during the pandemic, according to a survey by Apartment List.

Remote work motivates moves

“Demand for suburban housing increased by much more than that for central-city housing in the wake of Covid,” Yichen Su, a researcher for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas was cited as saying by All Connect.

In addition, remote workers are twice as likely to move to a new city than in-person office workers, the Apartment List poll revealed. Sixteen percent of remote workers said they plan to move within the next year, while only 11 percent of in-person workers said they would.

As remote-work arrangements become the new normal, employees looking to migrate to other areas might be attracted by states such as Illinois and North Dakota because of their affordability, clean air and broadband access, CNBC reported.

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