The suburban demand, driven in part by New York City residents who are able to work remotely while offices are closed, raises unsettling questions about how fast the city will be able to recover from the pandemic. It is an exodus that analysts say is reminiscent of the one that fueled the suburbanization of America in the second half of the 20th century.
It is not just crowded open houses, multiple offers and bids above asking prices. People in New Jersey suburbs who have no interest in putting their homes on the market are receiving unsolicited calls and knocks on the door from brokers asking if they want to sell…
For now, many buyers in the suburbs are expressing concern about the health risks of living in densely packed urban neighborhoods. Facing pandemic restrictions, they want room that New York City often cannot provide: a yard for their children to play and an office to work remotely. Many want land, even if it means being farther away from Manhattan.
Some buyers have told brokers they are concerned about reports of rising crime in New York City, real estate agents said. (Overall crime has not spiked in the city, but shootings have, Police Department data shows.)