How back-to-school uncertainty has rocked real estate

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The decision to stay in the city or move to the suburbs is the age-old struggle for parents of school-age children, and one that’s now been uprooted by the coronavirus pandemic. 
With uncertainty around school reopening, Scott Harris, a top agent at Brown Harris Stevens, says the lack of clarity on student whereabouts could mean a big impact on the real estate market. 
From an increased appeal on rentals to heightened childcare ambiguity affecting housing needs and budgets, Harris shared the four major changes to parents’ decision-making ahead of the new school year that he believes will affect the real estate market. 

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The decision to stay in the city or move to the suburbs is the age-old struggle for parents of school-age children.

Before the onset of the pandemic, the pendulum tended to swing towards families sticking it out. But now, amid the nationwide uncertainty around reopening schools, that pendulum may be swinging the other way.

Scott Harris, a top agent at Brown Harris Stevens, has successfully transacted more than $750 million of New York City residential properties, and told Business Insider that this uncertainty could have a big impact on the real estate market at large.

Harris pointed out the major changes to parents’ decision-making that are likely in store and how agents can get ready to impact the real estate market as the new school year approaches.

1. Rentals will become more appealing

Uncertainty for students means uncertainty for homeseeking parents, and may delay their choice to settle down right away.

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“For owners looking to transition from apartments being outgrown — as they now need to serve the multi-function of home, school, and office — many are gravitating towards rentals until there is more clarity in school schedules,” Harris said.

2. Decisions won’t be made based on school zones

School zones were hugely impactful parts of choosing a home pre-pandemic, but “Given that all learning may remain remote, buyers are no longer prioritizing school zones as a factor in their decision,” Harris said.

“In fact,” he said, “many international families are moving back to home countries to simplify their school situations and are looking to rent out their apartments.

3. Childcare ambiguity will change housing needs and budgets

Suggesting that external childcare needs for many families will shift as parents continue to work from home, Harris said, “Even in the best of circumstances, a great deal of pressure is put on dual income families for how to manage childcare.”

“With children entering school last September, many families made the shift from full-time nannies to part-time babysitters, relying on half and full school days to supplement. March through June was a bumpy ride, and as September once again approaches, they are left with more questions than answers,” he said. “Families may opt for one parent to remain home indefinitely, changing housing needs and budgets.”

4. Parents will be reluctant to rock the boat

“Although resilient, children have quickly transitioned from in-person learning, packed playdate schedules, sports and more,” Harris said, pointing to the quick shift to home …read more

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Source:: Business Insider

      

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