The COVID-19 pandemic has Fueled Migration from Major Cities to the Suburbs

Woman carrying boxes out of Clemmons, NC apartment

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused so many changes in all of our lives. It changed the way we communicate with one another, how we go about our daily lives and work, and so much more. It's been almost two years since the initial outbreak and quarantine, and it seems like these changes have become the new normal. However, we're all still learning to live in this post-COVID-19 world. One of the many ways people are adjusting to this new normal is by fleeing big cities and relocating to the suburbs. In the rest of this article, we'll explain how and why the COVID-19 pandemic has fueled migration from major cities to suburbs and smaller areas like Clemmons, Lewisville, Summerfield, Oak Ridge.

The Initial Exodus

After the first wave of the pandemic struck the US back in March of 2020, many people took that opportunity to relocate from the city. The reason for that was simple: leaving the city meant leaving the big crowds of strangers behind and minimizing the risk of catching the virus. Moreover, once major cities started issuing lockdown measures, many people were left alone in their tiny, claustrophobic apartments. Those who had a balcony or any kind of escape into nature were considered the lucky ones. This, however, wasn't an issue in the suburbs, where people were able to continue living their everyday lives. If they needed an escape into nature - they had their backyards.

This is especially true for those with kids in cities who were going crazy staying all day indoors. While kids in the city weren't allowed to go to the playgrounds and parks and socialize with other kids, those in the suburbs had more freedom. They had their own backyards and swing sets.


While the need to be outdoors is what caused many people who had the means to leave their lives in the big city and move to the slightly more rural areas, such as the suburbs, it wasn't the only factor. Aside from this, there are a couple more reasons why the COVID-19 pandemic has fueled migration from major cities to the suburbs.

woman wearing a mask on a train

Many people left the major cities, running from the crowds and the virus.

Lower Costs

Once the pandemic struck, many people found themselves without a steady income. As some switched to remote work, others entirely lost their jobs. This means they had to leave their costly apartments in big cities they could no longer afford. The obvious solution was to move to a smaller, more rural environment where the cost of living was cheaper. And while some people sought lower rent, others were able to take advantage of an uncertain real estate market and buy a house in the suburbs before the home prices started to rise in July 2020.

More Room For Work & Hobbies

One big change we mentioned before that was caused by the pandemic was the rise in remote work and remote learning. People who were used to leaving home every day for their nine-to-five jobs were now stuck working from home. This means they needed their own workspace where they could focus. Small apartments in the city weren't enough to accommodate their needs. Instead, people realized they could relocate to any area and many started looking for bigger houses in the suburbs with a separate home office.


Aside from the need for an extra room, many people simply needed more space. A house in the suburbs not only allowed for more space for work, but it also made plenty of room for other hobbies and interests. And, if people saw this as a long-term solution and a place where they want to grow old, they used their free time to start renovating their home for the future, even considering aging-in-place home modifications.

a man on a couch with a laptop in his lap

Those who lived in small apartments in the city didn’t have an adequate home office when the pandemic struck.

More Storage Space

With more space for hobbies and work comes more storage space for clothing and other belongings. This means a lot to people who are used to minimizing their possessions so they can fit everything in their apartment or constantly living in clutter. Even if they rented or bought storage units for their belongings, those couldn't always fit everything. Moreover, some things just don't belong there, such as valuable items or important documents.

Peace And Quiet

You won't find much peace and quiet in a metropolis, from honking automobiles and screaming sirens to the overall hustle and bustle of ordinary urban life. Even if they loved the city life, after moving to the suburbs to flee the pandemic, many are now enjoying the serenity the suburbs have to offer. And, most of them are not quite ready to give that up.

Stability And Freedom


As we mentioned before, many people left the city looking for a more affordable alternative. However, buying a home in the Lewisville, Clemmons, Oak Ridge, or Summerfield is not only much cheaper than renting an apartment in the city; it's also a way to add more stability. While there will always be a discussion between buying vs. renting a home, no one can dispute that purchasing a property is a sound investment. It gives stability to one's life because you know you won't have to move out if your landlord decides to rent the place to somebody else or suddenly raises the rent. Moreover, you have the freedom to do whatever you want with the place. If you wish to paint the walls - you can do so. If you want to completely renovate the home - go for it!

A couple moving into a new house

Buying a house and moving to the Lewisville or Clemmons, NC is a great way to add more stability to your life.

Final Thoughts

There's no doubt that the pandemic affected us in so many ways we're not even aware of yet. However, it is obvious that the COVID-19 pandemic has fueled migration from major cities to suburbs and bedroom communities like Lewisville, Clemmons, Oak Ridge and Summerfield. While people who left major cities did so looking for a safer, cheaper, and more stable environment, the question of how long this is going to last remains. With things seemingly going back to normal, some speculate that many people are already making their way back into the city. However, this doesn't mean that many won't stay in the suburbs permanently. As the pandemic taught us, only time will tell what will happen in the future.

We have helped many out of state buyers relocate to lovely North Carolina.  If you're thinking about relocating from a larger city, to the beautiful Piedmont Triad area of North Carolina, don't hesitate to call/text us at 336.462.9544.  We're here to help!