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IPFS News Link • Housing

Keeping Tabs on the (Popped?) Bubble

•, By eric

It seems to have – in my area, at least.

I keep track of the local real estate ebb and flow because it is a barometer of the other things, such as the changing demographics of my area, which (when I moved here back in 2003) was very rural and very affordable for exactly that reason. One could buy a house on several acres of land for less than $200k. Ordinary people, in other words, could afford to live in a single-family home on a few acres of land.

That changed – suddenly – during the (cough) "pandemic," probably for several reasons – the most obvious reason being the mass exodus from the (blue) cities to (red) and rural areas, where (ironically) the "blues" sought refuge from the Hell they had created in their former areas. This exodus was facilitated by work-from-home arrangements that the "pandemic" enabled that specifically favored people whose work consisted of paperwork (done online) as opposed to going places and doing/making things. These people were being paid the same (high) salaries that they had been getting when they lived in the blue (expensive) urban and suburban areas but – thanks to the "pandemic" – they were now able to work (and live) where the cost of living was half as high. This – along with record low interest rates – created a boom in demand for existing houses and land that drove up the prices to surreal (for this area) heights.

As an example:

There is a house not far down the road from where I live that sold for around $100k when it was built about the same time I moved here. It is actually a manufactured home – but it sits on an acre of land which – back in Northern Virginia, where I lived when this home was manufactured – would have cost around $100k just for the land. So it was a deal – for someone who wanted a home with some land.