Texas leads all states with seven counties, followed by Virginia with four
According to a new report from the National Association of Realtors, Forsyth County, Georgia, ranks as the top "Work from Home" county in the United States. Two Colorado counties - Douglas and Broomfield - appear in the top 10 at second and ninth, respectively.
NAR's 2020 "Work from Home" Counties report examines the current share of workers already working from home in more than 3,000 U.S. counties, along with several 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.
NAR's top 10 "Work from Home" counties are:
#1 - Forsyth County, Georgia
#2 - Douglas County, Colorado
#3 - Los Alamos County, New Mexico
#4 - Collin County, Texas
#5 - Loudon County, Virginia
#6 - Hamilton County, Indiana
#7 - Williamson County, Tennessee
#8 - Delaware County, Ohio
#9 - Broomfield County, Colorado
#10 - Dallas County, Iowa
"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."
NAR assigned "Work from Home" scores for 3,142 U.S. counties. The top 30 counties, all of which have at least 5,000 households as of 2019, represent about 1% of all counties. Texas leads all states with seven counties among the top 30. Virginia is second with four, followed by Colorado and Georgia with three each, and Florida and North Carolina with two apiece. The following states have one county each within the top 30: Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, and Utah.
"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. "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."
The growing number of people working remotely also impacts commercial real estate, particularly the office sector, with future office sizes and locations potentially changing as a result.
"The commercial real estate outlook appears uncertain as office spaces may get smaller and organizations consider moving from having a central business district headquarters to several suburban satellite offices," Yun said. "However, in the retail sector, one can reasonably expect to see some growth in the number of smaller stores in the top 30 counties coming at the expense of similar establishments near downtown office buildings."