PITTSBURGH (TNS) — With their daughter Abby able to graduate from faculty, Kevin and Cathy Glikes of Robinson went purchasing for a second dwelling.
What they discovered on the market on-line was a comfy, three-bedroom, 2.5-bath condominium in Seven Springs Mountain Resort that Ms. Glikes, 58, stated she and her husband, 63, shortly fell in love with.
“Once we noticed our place — it was simply dwelling,” stated Ms. Glikes, a retired preschool trainer. “It is a good getaway from the massive metropolis. It was simply the correct time.”
It has been simply the correct time for a lot of others to maneuver to rural Pennsylvania, even from Maryland, Virginia, Florida and Texas, a brand new report by the Middle for Rural Pennsylvania discovered. However together with the transfer has come visitors congestion on twisting nation roads and worries about broadband pace, trash pickup and different municipal providers which could be missing in small cities.
The Middle for Rural Pennsylvania, an advisory group to the Common Meeting, discovered the variety of dwelling gross sales and median dwelling costs boomed in 5 rural Pennsylvania counties throughout the top of the COVID-19 pandemic — March by way of December 2020 — when in comparison with the identical interval in 2019.
The main target of the research was the counties of Monroe, Pike, Wayne, Susquehanna and Somerset, the place the Glikes purchased their condominium about two months in the past.
Together with an growing variety of property transfers got here ballooning median dwelling costs.
In Somerset County, for instance, the median pre-pandemic dwelling worth was $49,000, in response to the research, which was based mostly on state tax and county assessor information.
In the course of the top of the pandemic, the median dwelling worth exploded by 200% to $150,000. Precise gross sales costs had been generally a lot larger: the Glikes, for instance, paid $316,523 for his or her condominium.
A lot of the newcomers to Somerset County from out of state got here from city areas, the place the COVID-19 charges had been larger than in rural areas because the pandemic hit.
Wayne, Forest and Pike counties had the very best share will increase in residential property transfers when evaluating the March to December intervals in 2019 and 2020, every seeing a rise in extra of 40%.
Even Fayette County, which was not a part of the research, noticed an 11.6% enhance in residential property gross sales between 2019 and 2020, regardless of a pointy enhance in COVID-19 instances that just about overwhelmed WVU Medication’s Uniontown Hospital in December 2020.
Armstrong, Philadelphia and Washington counties had the most important share lower in property transfers over that interval, every with a drop of greater than 19%.
“The folks within the massive cities need to get away,” stated Patricia A. Peifer, Somerset County recorder of deeds. The workplace collects a 2% actual property switch tax that’s break up between the state, native municipalities and faculty districts. ” Seven Springs, Hidden Valley, Indian Lake — we have seen an enormous enhance.”
Spurring the transfer to the nation had been the closed companies and colleges as a result of COVID-19, in response to the research. However the inflow of newcomers to rural elements additionally introduced considerations about broadband pace, trash assortment and different municipal providers, in response to state Sen. Lisa Baker, a Republican from Luzerne County.
“Enterprise closures, job restructuring and well being worries have brought about extra folks to relocate,” she stated at a Harrisburg information convention on Wednesday when the report was launched. “Site visitors congestion — one thing we solely noticed throughout the seasonal summer season months — is now turning into a 12 months spherical concern.”