Best places for buying a home for remote work

Many homebuyers often begin house-hunting by thinking about the number of bedrooms and bathrooms they want in their new home. Nowadays, however, one of the first questions a buyer may ask is what kind of internet access is available and whether there is dedicated office space.

To help buyers better evaluate what areas of the U.S. would be best for remote work, the National Association of Realtors has created a Work from Home Score for 3,142 counties in the country.

The “2020 Work from Home Counties” report looks at the current share of workers already working from home along with several other factors expected to support the remote work trend, including internet connectivity, the percentage of workers in office-related jobs, home affordability, urbanization and a county’s population growth.

“The coronavirus pandemic greatly accelerated the number of workers who are able to work from home,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Possibly a quarter of the labor force may be permitted to work from anywhere outside of the office even after a vaccine is discovered – compared to only 5% prior to the pandemic – and this will greatly change the landscape of where people buy homes.”

In fact, the report says one of the best counties in the country for at-home work is Utah County, which ranked in the top 30 at No. 27. From 2014-2018, 7% of Utah County workers worked from home. Nearly 93% of the population of Utah County also had access to three or more broadband internet service providers as of June 2019.

Davis County also scored high on the list of best places to work from home, coming in at No. 38 in the country. The county has about 6% of workers conducting remote work and nearly 98% of the population having three or more broadband providers. Not far behind was Summit County at No. 41 with 13% working from home and 84% having access to multiple broadband ISPs.

Salt Lake and Tooele counties had the fourth- and fifth-best Work from Home Scores in the state.

The National Association of Realtors conducted the study because the work-from-home trend is likely to change certain aspects of the real estate market.

“A larger fraction of workers allowed to work from home will change the mix of demand for residential and commercial real estate between the city and the suburb, give rise to new home designs that allow workers to work from home effectively, and change the way offices are configured geographically to enable the most efficient way for workers to work remotely,” the study said.

Home buyers can use the Work from Home Score to determine what counties have affordable homes along with good internet connectivity and supportive conditions for working from home.

“With some organizations expanding remote work options and as more people show an ability to remain productive from home, we may see buyers seek larger properties that offer space for a potential home office and other features that have become more valuable as a result of this pandemic,” said NAR President Vince Malta, broker at Malta & Co., Inc., in San Francisco, Calif. “The growing trend and historically low mortgage rates are spurring potential homebuyers to consider a broader range of options and rethink what’s important to them in the long term.”

To see all of the Work from Home Scores in Utah and across the country, visit Nar.Realtor and search for “Work from Home Counties.”

To learn more about home-buying and what to look for as you search for a house that’s conducive to remote work, contact a local Realtor. A directory of Utah Realtors is available at MyRealtorStory.com.

 

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