Real Estate Trends: The Migration to the Burbs and Small Town America

New data seems to suggest that interest in moving from big cities to small-town and rural areas of the growing.  That’s reinforced by rural and small-town markets seeing increased buyer demand. Here’s a snapshot of the suburban move trend and its impact on real estate investors looking to buy in these areas.

From listing data

New data from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), listing views in suburban zip codes jumped 13% between April and May 2020. The data indicates that the national market has slowed compared to 2019 but that suburban and rural areas are slowing less by comparison.

The report shows that out of the almost 20,000 zip codes, suburban codes reflected a median improvement of 404 spots in rankings and rural zip codes jumped 846 spots overall.

NAR Economic Data Analyst are quoted as saying, “May data shows that rural and suburban zip codes have been more resilient to this slowdown compared to urban areas. Time on market in rural and suburban areas has slowed, increasing by 25 and 30 percent, respectively, while urban zip codes have slowed even more, increasing time on market by 35 percent.”

The bottom line here is that suburban and rural markets are seeing relatively stronger trends in both views per property and days on market. Based on the spikes in May, these areas are outpacing urban markets by a big margin.

What recovery data shows

NAR found some striking differences between buyers and sellers in urban and small-town settings in their 2020 Market Recovery Survey. Key takeaways from this study include:

Small town and rural markets were more likely to report that no buyers had paused transactions. They were also more likely to report a stronger return of buyers. At the same time, more respondents reported less urgency to purchase a home in urban areas than in suburban or small town and rural areas.

Out of the group who reported having buyers shift their intended location, 47 percent said that their buyers want to purchase in suburbs, 39 percent cited rural area, and 25 percent cited small town.

Where this puts buyers and investors

As the trend in interest moves away from urban centers, real estate buyers and investors need to consider where they are heading. It’s clear that buyers and renters are being forced to consider remote work options more and more, so they are rethinking the need to reside in the more expensive urban markets.

For these reasons, the draw to secondary and tertiary real estate markets for the coming horizon in real estate is very appealing. Many will be looking at reduced property prices, lower taxes, and increased demand. And while the impact of the Corona virus keeps people focused on home living and new job options, this is a perfect time for investors to take stock of their markets and look at the opportunities that this this trend is creating.

Keeping you on top of real estate transactions

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