Moving During Coronavirus

Manhattan apartment sales plunge while the suburbs boom
  CNN - August 6, 2020

About a fifth of adults in the US have moved due to Covid-19 or know someone who did, a new study shows
  CNN - July 6, 2020

Real estate is a seller's market as sales soar by 21 percent - but renters worry they will be left behind   NBC - July 23, 2020

An interesting thing happened to my daughter Nikki and her family in Westport, Connecticut in January. After finding the house of their dreams they put their house up for sale. Perspective buyers came and went as Nikki and Ryan worried about losing the new house. At the end of February a young couple from Manhattan - with a baby and one on the way - bought their house. Contracts were signed and everybody was happy.

In March the world stopped !

How would coronavirus affect the sale of both houses? Apparently it made little difference as things progressed with masks, gloves, foot coverings, social distancing, and virtual closings. My grandsons Matthew and Noah finished high school from home. Nikki no longer had to commute to the city making everything easier as she worked from home.

As we rolled into April Nikki noticed a pattern ... an exodus from Manhattan to Westport and other suburban areas north and east of the city. A buyers' market became a sellers' market overnight. People wanted 'out'. The allure of Manhattan was fading. Crime was up, protests continued through the streets, cultural venues and places to eat closed indefinitely.

The new norm for many was working from home or wherever. People scrambled to get out seeking living spaces at least through the summer - some homes renting for over $10K a month.

So here we are in July. Nikki and Ryan are building a pool and couldn't be happier as they live near the beach. They are home with no plans to ever move again.

With Manhattan prices generally way out of line for most people who wind up sharing space with others - the return to Manhattan may not happen at all. People who own commercial properties in Manhattan could lose them. The streets are pretty empty in the city these days ... the feeling often unsafe. Commuting by bus or train also has its hazards so why go back?

Life and reality are shifting. Communities are changing. The future is uncertain and people feel it. That age old feeling of 'things will be better if we just hang tough' isn't necessarily in the grids anymore. Some people will become homeless. Others will move to more affordable housing or back in with family. Climate change and natural disasters will affect it all. There is no going back.

One step at a time as we 'move' forward to an uncertain destiny ...

In more ways than one we exist in a virtual environment.