The recent strong shift away from urban centers and towards more rural areas is thought to be a direct response to the increased popularity of the work-from-home model, brought on by the pandemic lockdowns. However, even though this is certainly a factor in the urban exodus, it’s not a new phenomenon. As early as 2010, people were starting to move away from urban areas towards suburban and rural areas. Being able to work from home simply accelerated the existing trend.
Why does the trend exist, though? Well, the statistics alone can’t give us a a certain answer, but we can speculate. It’s possible to conclude that people are liking the idea of living in a rural area. But that’s not necessarily the case. It’s important to note that the data holds true exclusively for mortgaged home purchases. This means that people who have excess cash lying around aren’t at all interested in rural living. In effect, this means that, quite possibly, no one is. Rural areas are generally less desirable, and because of this, are also generally cheaper. Buyers who need to take out a mortgage are looking within their budget, not necessarily for their dream home in their dream destination.