Rural home sales see major surge during pandemic in Poconos

New research shows home sales rose significantly from 2019 to 2020, and Newswatch 16’s Courtney Harrison spoke to a real estate agent about the trend.

WAYNE COUNTY, Pa. — Sale signs don’t last long in front of homes near Lake Wallenpaupack, where the real estate market has been hot.

Will Clauss is a realtor working in Wayne and Pike counties with Davis R. Chant Realtors and says he and other agents in the area have been busy during the pandemic.

“People who want it here really started this summer looking and buying, some of them unseen, as soon as they hit the market. And now I think a lot of emotional buying and impulsive have kind of calmed down, but people are really still, and there’s a huge demand for people to still be in the area,” Clauss said.

A state agency found that real estate sales from 2019 to 2020 showed an overall 7% increase in rural home sales in Pennsylvania. He also found that 8 of the top 10 municipalities that saw a large increase in rural home sales were in the Poconos.

The study also notes that many buyers came from New York and New Jersey.

“People want to go out and have more privacy. Not so crowded, so they can come here and buy homes with affordable taxes, affordable prices up to a point,” Clauss said.

It’s great for real estate that people are coming to the area and buying homes in these municipalities. The unfortunate thing is that they may have just missed the census and they won’t be counted, and that plays a role in the local economy.

“The disappointment that we are not able to count them now and probably won’t be able to do so for almost a decade, given that I still see our region continuing to grow at least for the next few years.”

Realtors say that because many people who moved to the Poconos at the start of the pandemic decided to stay, there aren’t many homes available. The listing price of homes for sale is significantly higher.

“It turns out that prices kept going up, so those who waited to sell and are thinking about it now were lucky because prices didn’t touch. They didn’t touch their decline.”

If you want to see the full study, you can find it here.

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