Return to offices would affect real estate market in DC

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Tens of thousands of federal workers are focused on leaving their virtual jobs to return en masse to their workplaces in Washington, DC, in accordance with the recent provisions of the Biden Administration.

They have been working remotely under very comfortable teleworking schedules, from home or wherever they are, since the era of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Like their private sector counterparts who were able to work from anywhere during the pandemic, many federal government employees in the DC area took advantage of the circumstance to move their families to larger homes or more affordable areas away from the District.

Experts indicated that the immigration tendencies of the federal bureaucracy began to emerge at the beginning of the pandemic, selecting various residential areas.

“Some of the places where we saw the strongest market activity were the Fauquier County, Warren County and Winchester areas, all in Virginia, and we also saw Frederick County in Maryland, which actually had one of the markets. “fastest-paced real estate listings in the country,” Lisa Sturtevant, chief economist for Bright MLS’ Mid-Atlantic listing service, told reporters.

Prominent among those new buyers were government employees who work remotely.

But now they are looking to return closer to the city and the facilities of their federal agencies. “Although others are considering whether they want to start looking for a job that allows them to continue working remotely,” Sturtevant said.

Consequently, there will be pressure on the area's housing market if current remote workers, both in the government and the private sector, begin to return closer to downtown DC, and decide to abandon the distant suburbs.

The problem, the expert said, is that new buyers or renters will join the vicious cycle of the DC area real estate market, “of more buyers than sellers to satisfy demand.”

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