August 18, 2021

The Great Reshuffle has America on the Move

A “Great Reshuffling” is underway. Ironically, the health crisis that kept us locked at home for much of 2020 has ultimately increased our choices where we want to live.

As remote work became more commonplace during the pandemic, Americans have changed priorities.

In the past 15 months, many things we used to take granted have changed. No contact food delivery. Masks on public transit. And now, urban property values.

While a short commute used to come with a hefty price tag in some markets, the tides are beginning to shift. Home values are growing nationwide, to be sure, but growth is slowing and even falling in some of the most expensive U.S. metropolitan markets – including Seattle, San Francisco, and New York City.

At the same time, in markets where downtown properties are typically more affordable – including Cleveland, Indianapolis and Detroit – urban prices are skyrocketing.

While these events seem to be in opposition, they are really highlighting the same shift. People are simply taking advantage of the ongoing flexibilities to move towards more affordable places.

The aging Millennial Generation finally began an exodus from downtown to more affordable suburbia nearly a half-decade ago. Suburban life became the norm, rather than the exception.

It was a noticeable difference. In 2017 and 2018, U.S. cities with 200,000-plus residents grew by a collective 326,000 people. Cities with fewer than 200,000 grew by 421,000 residents over the same period.

But a more subtle "reverse commuting" was already playing out in smaller cities. As early as 2017, many economists observed higher rates of people living in more affordable urban areas while commuting to suburban and rural areas for work.

With or without the pull of job centers, affordability is clearly the biggest reason people are choosing to move in 2021. Of course, as the population shifts, price gains usually follow. For instance, a Detroit home with a 10-minute commute is $101,228 more expensive than it was in 2019. But there's a huge upside. Just like the suburban shift of several years ago, rising prices attract widespread renewal.

No matter where you choose to live - a condo downtown or single-family suburban splendor - Bay Equity has loan programs to help you qualify.

We will listen to your needs and help you select the right product for your financial situation. We have information on multiple federal, state, and private down payment assistance (DPA) programs you may qualify for.

Even against the backdrop of rising prices, waiting longer simply delays building more home equity over time.

Let Bay Equity’s seasoned teams of mortgage professionals help get you started today. We’re here to get you home.