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It’s no secret that people have left the big cities in unprecedented numbers and have flooded into rural areas looking to buy homes during the pandemic. The question is, “Will they want to move back to the city, now that the COVID mandates are being lifted and in-person work is picking up?”

The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the trend to work remotely, and suddenly many people felt a need for more, functional space in homes, including home offices.

The urban exodus picked up steam early into the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, with tens of thousands of people leaving Toronto and other large, expensive cities in search of more space, and cheaper real estate, in small centers, cottage towns and coastal regions. Reuters recently reported that more than 64,000 people left Toronto for other parts of Ontario from mid-2020 to mid-2021, up 14% from the previous 12-month period, according to Statistics Canada population estimates, with another 6,600 moving out of the province.

And now for the urban recoil. We are starting to see people wanting to return to the city after finding the life they had imagined is actually too quiet and remote. Others are being called back to work in-person and the commute from their new home is more than they bargained for. The inflation rate and the price of gas have also been factors for many in this decision-making process. Some of those returning to the city are planning to split their time between their rural home and a “pied-a-terre” in the city, a smaller residence to use while working in the city or visiting friends and family.

This trend has certainly helped to drive the housing and condo boom we’re currently experiencing. Many of our clients now believe, more than ever, that real estate is a safe and secure investment. The desire to hold a hard real estate asset in a major centre for investment purposes is also rising, but we also hear the worry of not being able to buy back into the city if they wait too long, expressed by some of our clients.

As agents, we have developed and maintained relationships with reliable, resourceful Realtors® across North America so that when our clients start to explore options in or out of our service areas, we are prepared with good referrals and recommendations. Whether you are coming or going, we have you covered. Reach out to us anytime, real estate is the language we speak, we are happy to chat anytime. 

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