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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.

homelight q2 survey

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:

NAR 202 relocation

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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Cari McGee

Hi, I'm Cari McGee. 👋 I've lived in the Tri-Cities since 1994 and I've been a licensed Realtor® since 2004. That's a lot of local knowledge and real estate experience that I put into every article you read on my website! We've helped more than 560 families buy or sell property in the Tri-Cities. In 2023, our community voted us the bronze winner for Best Real Estate Team in the Tri-Cities Best voting. Learn more about me by clicking the link right above. And if you have any questions, get in touch anytime!

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