The Great Migration: Relocation to Asheville

Asheville, NC  |  By now it’s certain – 2020 has been wrought with massive change. This change has reshaped buyer’s plans, motives, and needs.
 
Perhaps most notably, we’ve observed that the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating timelines and causing buyers to focus on health, wellness, and the outdoors in their home searches.
 
A significant part of the US has flipped into remote work with almost 50% of the workforce working remote (MIT Research Survey). As a result, movement into more urban tech centers like Charlotte, Raleigh, Austin, Manhattan, and Seattle is slowing.
 
More buyers are choosing where to live based on where their lifestyle would be most “at home,” and Asheville checks a lot of boxes.
But who exactly is moving to Asheville, from where, and what are they looking for in a home?

 

Where Are Buyers Moving From?

Not unexpected, relocation to the Asheville area continues to follow historical migration patterns. Buyers are leaving major metros of North Carolina, South Florida, California, and the North East and are heading to Asheville (US Census Data).

 

 

Why Buyers are Relocating to Asheville

COVID-19 is giving buyers several reasons to move. We continue to see a strong influx of “explorers” – buyers who prioritize “lifestyle” values in their home search and seek proximity to outdoor recreation opportunity. Of course, Asheville has plenty of options in that realm.
 
Increasingly, we’ve seen a ramp up in “pre-retiree” interest as well. The option to telework 100% of the time is opening up a new possibility for buyers to move 5-10 years ahead of retirement. Many of these buyers have already had Asheville on their radar, but COVID is condensing relocation timelines.
 
On the flip side, the rise in remote work is giving current Asheville residents new opportunity to stay in Asheville but work elsewhere. It is no secret that Asheville has longstanding problems with affordable housing and difficult job market. As a result, there is some optimism that telework could ease this crunch for some residents.

 

 

What Buyers are Looking For

Although the exact priorities vary with the buyer, more and more buyers are shopping for homes with interior flex spaces and generous outdoor living areas.
 
With the uncertain future of in person work, school, and access to retail gyms, yoga, and cycling, more buyers are asking for space for home gyms, home offices, and virtual school.
 
As a result, garages – somewhat of a rarity in the Asheville area – are increasing in demand, as are “finished” and “unfinished” basements. Finally, backyard privacy is also rising up the list of important features as time spent at home continues to creep up.

 

Market Conditions Making People Move

Interest rates continue to hit lows, dipping below 3% for a 30-year fixed, making moves not just possible, but very attractive. In Asheville, housing inventory below the $900,000 remains tight. Above $900,000, the pressure eases up as it becomes more of a luxury market.
 
Regardless of the price point, these low interest rates means buyers – explorers, retirees, or locals – are going to be getting more Asheville for less mortgage.

If you’d like to learn more about the Asheville real estate market, or are thinking about relocation to Asheville, there are a couple ways to get started. You can shoot me a quick message, schedule a 30 minute Zoom/phone call, or e-mail me at dylanjlennon@gmail.com. You can view all recently listed Asheville area homes for sale here.

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