A Year for Relocation
The events of 2020 were enough to motivate many to relocate out of cities and towards a more sustainable rural lifestyle. At SurvivalRealty.com, we’ve seen a marked increase in inquiries from patriots relocating to rural areas across the United States. This is driven by a multitude of reasons, but a few headlines will be illustrative:
- Realtor.com ranks Coeur d’Alene, Spokane among nation’s 10 hottest housing markets
- Conservatism’s center of gravity is moving to key states, away from DC
- Some Principles for the Great Relocation
This movement is also matched by high rates of inbound moves to the southeast and southwest, while California and the northeast have the highest rates of outbound moves, as documented by North American Moving Services 2020 Migration Report. This cannot simply be reduced to political and cultural factors, although they are certainly significant. Also relevant to many choosing to relocate are lower cost of living, more favorable tax rate, or better job markets, climate, and lifestyle.
A Challenging Market
We are also in the midst of a very challenging real estate market, in the form of a very strong seller’s market. Demand and prices for rural property are high, but the availability has remained low. This has made finding a home in the Redoubt and similar areas increasingly challenging. As the Wall Street Journal described it in an April 3 article title “The Housing Market Is Crazier Than It’s Been Since 2006“:
The past year has been the hottest for sales activity in 14 years. Home values are rising in practically every corner of the U.S., and median sale prices in dozens of metro areas have posted double-digit percentage increases from a year ago, according to Zillow Group Inc. In Boise, Idaho, the median sale price rose almost 25% in January from a year earlier, while in Stamford, Conn., it rose 19%.
Many families are currently finding themselves priced out of the market, and put their purchase plans on hold, hoping to wait out the market and hoping for a downturn. This excess demand seems to indicate that it will take a major national correction to see prices fall significantly.
On the upside for those selling their current property, it’s not just rural areas that have seen rising prices. Outside of some metro areas like San Francisco, urban and suburban markets are still active, perhaps propped up by former renters taking advantage of low interest rates.
Decreased Buying Power
These high prices nationwide have contributed to push up prices in what were once affordable rural areas. The gap between big city and small town prices has shrunk significantly over the last decade. This comes as a major shock to many arriving in the American Redoubt and elsewhere.
For some illustration, we will look at the property listings on the Coeur d’Alene MLS in Idaho’s northern panhandle. A search for 3 bedroom homes on 5 acres in North Idaho returns 7 active listings, priced from $650,000 to $1,200,000, with a median asking price of $775,000. For a 3 bedroom home on 40 acres there is only one result priced below $1.2 million. A search for 10 acre bare land parcels in North Idaho returns 30 active listings, priced between $92,500 to $695,000. (Bear in mind that the lower end of this price range is for the most rugged and inaccessible acreage.) The median price for these 10 acre parcels is $25,000 per acre.
First, we will grant that north Idaho is an extremely desirable area. There are other portions of the Redoubt and of the U.S. that are more affordable. However, the example is illustrative of the increasing cost of rural land and the reduced gap between urban, suburban, and rural land prices. Also notable, prices for remote and offgrid properties are not markedly lower than for more accessible properties with full amenities. With the increasing percentage of telecommuters, faster rural Internet infrastructure, and increasing commute distances, the price influence of small cities has affected rural property prices within a one-hour driving radius or more.
How You Can Help
The number of available listings on our retreat property marketplace is currently dwarfed by the demand, and we’re receiving numerous daily inquiries from folks looking to relocate. We are now working to build a network of patriotic real estate agents across the U.S. to help meet this need. Our goal is to refer these relocatees to experienced and like-minded agents who can support their real estate needs.
We need your recommendations for real estate agents and brokers who are:
- experienced in rural and remote real estate
- hard-working and professional
- eager to work with preparedness-minded and patriotic clients
If you know of someone that fits this description (or are an agent yourself) please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. We have an immediate need for brokers in Wyoming, eastern Oregon and Washington, Tennessee, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Texas, but appreciate contacts in any rural area of the U.S.