‘Zoom towns’ are booming and changing real estate

Published Date: January 5, 2023

white house with pool
COVID-19 has changed the way we live in many ways, but how we work is driving a new real estate market trend. With the shift to working remotely, popular second home destinations are seeing an unprecedented number of people looking to purchase properties.A third of Americans now work from home full time, according to Gallup data. Another quarter do some remote work from home. With a large segment of the workforce untethered from urban centers and freed from commutes, there is a spike of interest in traditional vacation markets, according to a new Redfin analysis. These communities are sometimes referred to as “Zoom towns,” a nod to the video platform that has become an essential technology for remote workers. The Redfin data looks at year-over-year changes in home prices, home sales, percentage of homes sold above list price, and speed of home sales and searches across the United States. What emerged are new real estate market trends that are likely here to stay.

Bi-coastal destinations

On the West Coast, hot second home market destinations like California’s Lake Tahoe area and Bend, OR top the Redfin list. On the East Coast, traditional seasonal real estate markets like the Jersey Shore and Cape Cod saw the biggest increase in market interest. According to the Redfin data, most buyers are leaving major urban centers like San Francisco, New York and Boston, escaping big-city life in favor of more space, better amenities, lower population and more bang for their buck.

Supply and demand

With demand skyrocketing and supply staying level, there has been a big uptick in median sale prices in the 10 counties identified by Redfin as the most heated housing markets, with year-over-year increases ranging from 7% to 33%. Homes in those counties sold for as much as 57% over listing price. 

Long-term outlook

We’ve all heard the phrase “the new normal” when it comes to life post-pandemic, and the real estate market is no exception. Interest in buying a second home and second home markets will likely remain strong as working remotely and the desire to escape cities continues.But likely so will the increase in home prices, making it tougher to enter the second home market. Pacaso is uniquely positioned to help buyers co-own a home-away-from-home in some of the hottest Zoom towns around. Check our latest listings to see if one of our luxury properties is the right fit for you.

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Ashley Rappa

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