Key Highlights

  • Suburban homes now in demand
  • After selling in suburbs, downsizing empty nesters have extra cash to buy in cities

The COVID pandemic and its shelter-at-home restrictions have triggered lifestyle reevaluations for many. City dwellers on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean in dense quarters are opting for fresh air and outdoor spaces in the suburbs and country sides while empty nesters are opting to downsize from now-too-large homes to smaller footprints in urban areas.

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Martin Bikhit, managing director with Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Kay & Co in London, said, “While there’s no question that…more people are reluctant to live in central London right now, we’re seeing a simultaneous trend of empty nesters…finally finding buyers…and now they can move where they want to be: near friends and family in the city and with access to culture and to high quality medical facilities.”

In New York City, Darrell Williams, an associate broker with MNS Real Estate, is working with buyers who have sold large single-family homes outside of the City now “…able to pay cash for the condo…to be near all the convenience of city living and to Central Park.”

Not only has the pandemic triggered reevaluations about where people want to life, it is also influencing the features people want to live with in their new location. According to Vickey Barron, an associate real estate broker with Compass in NYC, said, “It used to be that the view trumped everything, but now space trumps views. People want it all, of course, but if they have to compromise, they’ll go for bigger and better space rather than a smaller place with a great view…people want a larger terrace with 600 to 800 square feet, not one of those little ‘smoking location’ balconies.”

Additionally, buyers are preferring townhouses in order to have their own individual, private access to their home without having to share elevators.

Walkability, close access to public transportation systems and city/cultural amenities such as museums, restaurants and clubs are also at the top of the list for now ex-suburbanites who relish the convenience and connections associated with urban living.

And the pandemic? Most downsizing movers to urban areas say the pandemic will calm down over time.

Thanks to MansionGlobal.

Also read: Podcast: Are You Actually Choosing To Never Be Rich (and FREE)? | Tim and Julie Harris, Podcast: 4 Powerful Mindset Hacks That Always Work | Tim and Julie Harris, Will A Next Recession Destroy Millennials?

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