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People are moving to Washington’s rural communities, real estate report shows

Realtors found the COVID-19 pandemic and working from home has allowed people the freedom to move away from the city.

CARNATION, Wash. — People are packing up and buying homes outside of Seattle, according to Sotheby’s first-quarter report for 2021.

According to Sotheby’s, it’s a seller's market, and people are buying homes in rural communities like Carnation, Sultan, Snohomish, Gold Bar and Darrington.

Carnation saw a nearly 15% increase in median sales prices for homes with an average of six days on the market.

Snohomish saw an increase of over 10% in sale prices, with an average of seven days on the market, and that trend continues.

While housing prices are rising in smaller cities, you still get more bang for your buck than buying in Seattle.

“The desire for affordability,” said Real Estate Broker Beth Kovacevich with Marketplace Sotheby’s International Realty. “Being able to work remotely has been a huge factor in people being able to afford homes out in Monroe, and Snohomish and Woodinville. I mean, it’s just incredible.”

Realtors found the COVID-19 pandemic and working from home has allowed people the freedom to move away from the city.

RELATED: 2020 Census: Here's how much Washington's population has grown

With people selling homes and moving, Kovacevich said she’s seen a trend of people packing up and leaving Washington.

“This pandemic has made people focus on their families and that’s been really a nice thing where I even have folks moving out of the state so that they can be with their elderly parents and work remotely,” explained Kovacevich.

While people are leaving, others are coming to Washington, with many moving in from places like Los Angeles and New York for jobs in Seattle, according to Sotheby’s.

But Kovacevich predicts the boom in rural communities is here to stay.

“I think that things have changed, and people want that freedom and privacy that lifestyle where they are still close enough to get to the Seattle amenities, yet they can enjoy just having more space,” she said.

Seattle's housing market is still doing well for sellers. The average sales price for a home in Seattle rose 6.5% from this time last year.

But brokers predict as the pandemic comes to an end, eventually, more people will start listing their homes.