What kinds of PERMANENT changes do you think will happen to the real estate industry because of the pandemic?

Everyone's life has changed since COVID19 hit. Presumably, most things will get back to normal some day, but what kinds of things do you think will never get back to normal? Are there any changes that will be permanent as a result of everything we've experienced this year?

It's easy to see the changes happening right now, but I wonder what changes will never go away, even after the pandemic is behind us.

Any predictions?

@retipsterseth Predicting is always fun! In my humble opinion the way we pay employes may change from hourly to project based, along with how many companies will include more options for remote workers.


@My706Realtor, I like those predictions because they make sense even setting COVID aside, and in the event that people don't migrate away from cities in the long run. While it makes sense that, in net terms, people appear to be leaving many cities right now, due to the pandemic, I'm very hesitant to say that will be a long-term trend. I recall after 9/11/2001 there was a fair amount of talk about people leaving cities, as well, due to concerns like bio-terrorism, which felt very real at the time, given actual attempted anthrax attacks, lots of stories coming out of the govt about potential state-sponsored terrorism like dirty bombs, etc. I don't know how many cities might have actually seen a temporary net reduction of population back then, but if there were any, the last 19 years (until the past 6 months) have certainly proven it to be an extremely temporary trend that has more than reversed in the years since.

That said, it will be interesting to see if the combination of the current pandemic being a more protracted event than 9/11, and the echo-boomers / millennials hitting their 30s (prime suburb years), might make this time different. I personally would not be so bold as to predict that as the most likely outcome, but wouldn't be surprised to see those as contributing factors if migration away from the cities does emerge as a long term trend over the next few years.


@dl7573 well said!

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I can't see big cities dying out. This is a blip on the radar (granted, it's a big blip), but with all the investment and life that has been built into the big metropolitan centers around the world, there's no way everyone will abandon them.

There will come a day when things get back to normal, and even if that day never comes, at worst, I can see some cities having to rearrange some things, but they're not going to "give up" and live out in the middle of nowhere.

Throughout the West Coast, we're seeing real estate in small "vacation" communities exploding due to COVID. I'm located in Central Oregon and the amount of people moving here from LA, San Francisco, Portland and Seattle is unbelievable. Population influx and property values are at record highs, while inventory is at record lows. I was in this market in 2007 when the same thing was happening, and 2008 hit this area very, very hard. The difference now is that the people coming to these areas are working high paying remote jobs. So these people and their money are here to stay. I foresee scenic, destination, charming, small towns being changed forever by the way people are now working and earning their money.

The other phenomenon we are seeing are high income earners from large cities not selling their homes, but buying second homes and condos in these small "cheap" destination towns where they can work remotely, but not entirely give up their big city connections. There is now a nearly constant flow of private jets and airplanes in and out of our regional airports.


The market for rural vacant land is going to be in high demand... People are leaving states that they perceive to have less freedoms/comforts in mass. What I mean by this is with the ability to work remotely people want to live somewhere they can play.

There are a few states (like Texas) that are exploding in growth from the mass emmigration from other states. I just read an article about the exodus for even tech companies from California to Texas.

I do know the policies and taxes are pushing hundreds of thousands of people to move out of my home state of IL as well. In my small town of 50k residents in the midst of covid they quietly raised property tax rates by 10%.

Making me think about selling my rentals and relocating as well...


I live in upstate NY about 350 miles from NYC. The immediate residential market is smoking hot for a seller with extremly low inventories.

@jawollbrink - I wonder if we'll eventually see the prices come down and the inventories go up in some of these big cities, especially if there is a sustained exodus to rural areas.