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Will We See an Influx of New Tri-Citians Coming from Seattle, Portland, etc.?

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Over the past 3-4 months, we’ve heard from more Portlanders and Seattleites than normal with questions about moving to the Tri-Cities. This is just anecotal evidence and doesn’t mean there’s an actual trend happening. There are hundreds of other real estate agents in our area, and we’d need to talk to a bunch of them to find out if it’s just us or really a case of incoming migration from the big cities around us.

But there is data supporting the possibility that this is happening and/or will happen in the coming months.

A few months ago, HomeLight surveyed hundreds of top agents across the country and asked why their clients are moving during the COVID pandemic. The top reason was “need more space,” which could reflect bigger homes — but could also mean people wanted more land space than they could get in urban areas. The #3 reason was to move away from cities toward suburban/rural areas. And the next to last reason people were moving was to get closer to big cities.

But that’s not all.

Zelman & Associates, a real estate industry research company, surveys brokers and owners of real estate firms for their monthly Real Estate Brokers Report. In a recent report, Zelman reported that 68% of brokers see either a “moderate” or “significant” shift to more suburban locations.

One more example?

The National Association of Realtors asked agents across the country where their clients are looking to move during the pandemic. The top three answers? Suburbs, rural areas, and small towns. Have a look:

We’ll need more time before we can say whether this a short-term change or something that will have long-term impacts on urban vs. suburban (or city vs. rural) living. We also don’t know if what we’re seeing the past couple months in our conversations with Seattleites and Portlanders is something that other local agents are seeing, too. But if those national trends play out here in the Northwest, we could see an influx of new Tri-Citians coming to town from our big-city neighbors to the west.

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About The Author
Cari McGee

My husband and I came to the Tri-Cities in 1994, and we thought it would be a temporary stop on our way to larger cities. He was a television sports anchor at the time, and we planned to go wherever the "next step up" took us. Twenty-plus years later, we're still here and we've loved every minute of it! We have two children now, and we've found the Tri-Cities area is a wonderful place to raise a family. It's a great place to do outdoorsy things -- I like to hike Badger Mountain or run along the river path. I also love reading ... by a cozy fire in the winter or a beautiful picture window in the summer (with the A/C on!). I've been a licensed Realtor since 2004. I earned my managing broker's license in 2016, which means I can run my own brokerage, or create a team of real estate agents and supervise them, which is exactly what I did when I formed the Cari McGee Real Estate Team in 2018! We have administrative and marketing personnel, as well as additional agents to serve you. I became a director of the Tri-Cities Association of Realtors Board of Directors in 2016, became Secretary/Treasurer of the organization, and was elected to Vice President in 2019. Want to talk about real estate? Click here to schedule a meeting with me!

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