Why People Are Ditching City Life for Country Living
Even in an unpredictable 2020, the lifestyle and country real estate market was on fire. United Country Real Estate, which specializes in these types of properties, announced it experienced large, double-digit growth in the areas of farmland, ranches, land, country homes and hunting land for sale across the country.
“It is interesting to look at what is driving this huge migration and to consider the implications for 2021 and beyond,” said Mike Duffy, president of United Country Real Estate. “There are some long-standing truths, trends and things about country life that have attracted nearly everyone who has ever driven off the interstate onto a backroad for more than a mile. Add the recent political, societal, health and technological changes, and there’s a combination of motivators to make the move or at least have a place to escape to for the weekend.”
Redfin reported that the housing supply in rural areas dropped 44% in 2020, helping to drive the overall shortage of homes for sale nationwide. Many United Country agents said they were flooded with buyers searching for homes and land outside bigger cities. An extremely strong market has caused inventory of properties for sale to be at historic lows. As a result, agents continue to seek more properties to list in 2021.
“As for 2020, the words that come to mind are unpredictable and ever-changing,” said Travis Hamele, broker/owner of United Country | Midwest Lifestyle Properties in Wisconsin. “I think the trend of people wanting out of densely populated areas will continue this year. People want peace and to be able to have chickens or a couple cows and sit out on their deck, overlooking a lake and drink coffee. If there’s a rural property that checks all the boxes and is affordable, it sells fast. That’s what we’re seeing. Now it’s about educating sellers that with this type of movement, it’s time to sell.”
There were many reasons more homebuyers chose rural areas in 2020. Societal changes caused by COVID-19, social unrest in urban areas and political turmoil all led people to a quieter, more peaceful area of the country where social distancing is a way of life. Factors such as retirement, the ability for employees to work from home, affordable gas prices and record-low mortgage rates continue to drive the trend in 2021.
There are also many health benefits to country living. This tranquil lifestyle can reduce stress levels by double digits. The risk for anxiety is 21% lower and mood disorders are 39% lower in rural areas compared to their urban counterparts. Studies have shown that ridding one’s self of pollution, traffic, noise, congestion and other stressors found in the city can actually reduce depression. So, heading to the country can possibly have a positive impact on one’s overall health and well-being.
Whether someone is a survivalist, or just prefers to live “off-the-grid,” the country is where they’ll find self-sufficient and sustainable properties. In addition to food sources, some “survival properties” have innovative off-grid power sources like solar, wind, battery and self-contained fuel, allowing a person to live on their own for months at a time.
“Living in the country or in a lifestyle market for example, in the mountains or on the waterfront, is great,” Duffy said. “It’s a healthy way to live that also provides serenity and gives you a sense of freedom.”
To learn more, or to find a property for sale near you, visit www.unitedcountry.com, where you can search by property type, location and keyword(s).