It’s no secret that upstate New York’s real estate industry is booming. The pandemic has caused people to leave urban areas in record numbers, and as more and more companies move to a remote workforce, their employees are forgoing the high rents and taxes downstate in favor of a more rural (and affordable) location – giving rise to the trending phrase “Zoom-Town”.
Moving companies are so busy that some have even turned people away. In the month of March alone, there was a 256% increase in people moving out of New York City compared to the same month last year. Since March, more than 246,000 people have filed a change of address request which is almost 100% increase compared to the same period in 2019.
People living in the New York Metro area are paying 148% more than the national average on rent to live in a small apartment with now what is considered “zero lifestyle or cultural amenities”. New York City is the most densely populated city in the country which leaves many wanting to escape. Upstate New York draws millions of visitors a year. Greene County has almost 1 million visitors seasonally - a number that continues to rise.
When you can work from anywhere, why not choose a low-risk, lifestyle-affirming community?
Interestingly enough, there are over 8,000 second home properties across Greene County. These 8,000 properties represent over $135 million in annual purchases in and around our mountain, valley and historic river towns, creating both jobs and earnings for full-time residents. Add to that the sales and property tax revenue generated from Second Home Owners and their guests, and the impact on our local economy is like adding over 4,400 full-time residents. During the pandemic, many of these properties have become ‘bases of operations’ for their remote working owners, and more and more are seeking to make Greene County their primary residence.
There has always been something romantic about living in upstate New York. Escaping the echo chamber of self-involvement to go for a hike in the Catskill Mountains and then sleeping in an A-frame cabin that is prefabricated out-of-state. The Catskill Mountains brings a humbling solace to those who want to separate themselves from fast-moving crowds. Mountains and lakes can make you feel small and insignificant which almost makes you rethink your identity.
In 1999, Pattie Meyers founded Lake & Mountain Realty, LLC to focus on real estate in Sleepy Hollow Lake in Athens, New York. Sleepy Hollow was their initial focus because of its exclusive private lake community which offers miles of private roads, 24-7 security, community pools all nestled in the Catskills. Sleepy Hollow Lake is great for new homeowners with growing families or those who want to invest in a second home to get away from a busy lifestyle.
Since then, Meyers has expanded outside of Sleepy Hollow Lake and into the rest of Greene County including surrounding areas like the Berkshires. Her properties can range from cozy chalets on Hunter Mountain to beautiful lakefront properties for people who want the full “upstate New York experience”. Lake and Mountain Realty, LLC in Athens has seen an increase not only in property value since March but sales as well.
“This is the busiest year post 9/11…I can’t even keep up and it’s not just me, it’s everyone in the Hudson Valley. The market is unprecedented, and I haven’t seen it this busy for at least 20 years.”
To assist new home seekers and promote our Greene County Communities, the county launched its “Find Your Way to HOME in Greene County, NY” campaign in June. Social media advertising targets individuals in urban areas and leads them to a landing page where they are introduced to the Affordable, Beautiful, and Tele-Commutable communities across our 14 Catskill Mountain, Rural Valley, and Historic Hudson River Towns, and can link directly to the best realtors in the area.
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