The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

Remote work continues to shift U.S. housing landscape, Zillow finds

Remote work is a driving force behind the shifting residential real estate market, a study finds. (iStock)
2 min

Remote work is fueling suburban home values, which are rising faster than in urban areas, as laptop-working buyers prioritize affordability and larger floor plans over shorter commutes, Zillow research finds.

The top market during the first quarter of this year was Woodinville, a suburb of Seattle. The second most popular was Burke, Va., outside D.C., followed by Highlands Ranch, a suburb of Denver, according to the real estate platform’s top 10 housing markets of early 2022.

The rise in suburban home values is a reversal of previous norms and from the first 15 months of the pandemic, Zillow says. Its researchers compiled the list by analyzing page-view traffic, home-value growth and for-sale inventory of more than 1,000 cities.

Home buyers continue to shop around for out-of-state homes, study says

Demand for larger homes and the suburbs began early in the pandemic and then accelerated in the summer of 2021, most likely as employers began to make decisions about their return-to-office policies, according to Nicole Bachaud, an economist with Zillow.

The remaining seven markets are Westchase outside Tampa; Edmonds outside Seattle; Yorba Linda, a suburb of Los Angeles; Johns Creek, a suburb of Atlanta; Tustin, a suburb of Los Angeles; Ballwin outside St. Louis; and Golden, a suburb of Denver.

Most of the suburbs that made Zillow’s list have more expensive homes than their nearest major cities, and each suburb is about 30 minutes from the nearest city center. Eight of the top 10 have home values higher than in their nearby principal city, and in seven of those markets, the typical home value is more than $150,000.

Redfin: Relocation is a top priority among more Americans

The most popular markets near other major cities include Montclair, N.J., a suburb of New York; Elk Grove Village, a suburb of Chicago; Havertown, a suburb of Philadelphia; Billerica, a suburb of Boston; Coppell, a suburb of Dallas-Fort Worth; and Port Bolivar, a suburb of Houston.

Overall, about half the growth in home prices during the pandemic can be attributed to the increase of remote work options, according to the National Bureau of Economic Research.

Zillow’s full report is at

More from The Home You Own

The Home You Own is here to help you make sense of the home you live in.

DIYs you can actually do yourself: Don’t be intimidated by those home projects. Consider which renovations add the most value to your home (including the kitchen and bathroom), what you can actually get done in a weekend, and everything in between.

Your home + climate change: Whether you’re trying to prepare your home for an electric vehicle or want to start composting, we’re here to help you live more sustainably.

Plants and pets: Your furry friends and greenery add more life to your spaces. For your green thumb, find tips for saving money on houseplants and how to keep your plants alive longer. Pets can make a house a home, but stopping your cats from scratching the furniture isn’t always easy.

Keeping your home clean and organized: We breakdown the essential cleaning supplies you need, and point out the 11 germy spots that are often overlooked. Plus, hear hacks from professional organizers on maximizing counter space,

Maintaining your home: Necessary home maintenance can save your thousands in the long run. From gutter cleaning and preparing your fireplace for winter, to what to do if your basement floods.

Contact us: Looking to buy your first home? Do you have questions about home improvement or homeownership? We’re here to help with your next home project.