Smaller, rural towns across Pennsylvania are seeing a boom in real estate business as people look to move to a less populated area or buy a second home in one in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“NAR has heard from both members and consumers there is a demand for homes in rural areas and small towns that provide not only larger homes, but acreage in a less dense city center,” said the National Association of Realtors® Vice President of Demographics and Behavioral Insights Dr. Jessica Lautz. “NAR members have told us there is strong demand for homes that provide personal space inside the home and land outside the home.”
“Consumers do not expect to have to go into an office as frequently, so these rural buyers rely on home office spaces and places with good broadband internet to work remotely,” added Lautz.
North Central Penn Board of Realtors® President Carol Hoke said business was “crazy” as soon as real estate reopened in the area of Potter and Tioga counties.
“We are seeing lot of people from out of the area, both buying as a secondary home, as well as relocation,” said Hoke. “They are realizing that maybe it’s safer to be here.”
A lack of inventory on the market is also increasing demand, Hoke said. “The listings are on the slow side – we have always had a lot of properties listed, but that is changing. Our supply of homes is running out. People are not looking to sell so much right now.”
Hoke added that some people who had planned to list aren’t in such a hurry now. “But now would be the time to list. The market is hot and we need inventory,” she said.
“As a Realtor®, I am just running around like crazy,” added Hoke. “It’s mostly showings and trying to get listings.”
Emily Rowe, president-elect of the Bradford-Sullivan Association of Realtors®, said “it has been completely insane” in Bradford and Sullivan counties.
“Properties are just selling like crazy. We’re seeing multiple offers on the same day if it’s priced appropriately. The market is super great and very strong right now.”
Rowe said she is seeing a variety of buyers, from first-time homebuyers to out-of-towners. “I think people are surprised at how strong the market it is,” she said. “It’s a great time to list your house.”