CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Could the pandemic mean more businesses and more people moving to Charlotte? That’s what experts are saying and realtors in the area confirm they’ve been getting calls for months from people who want out of bigger cities.
Charlotte’s been a hot market for awhile now, but the pandemic is putting an emphasis on cities that aren’t as densely packed and don’t rely on public transportation.
At times like this it’s nice to find what could be a silver lining.
“Charlotte stands to dramatically benefit from this type of de-densification that you’re seeing in urban markets,” said Steven Pearce, who’s in charge of business recruitment for the Charlotte Business Alliance.
People and businesses are looking to leave densely packed places like New York and they’re specifically looking to come to the Queen City.
“Charlotte is one of the top 10 markets for people looking to move out of the Manhattan area,” Pearce said.
Pearce says COVID-19 has companies who are looking to cut costs and offer a better lifestyle to employees eyeing Charlotte.
“Absolutely yes. I got a voicemail from a CEO yesterday (saying) due to COVID-19 we're looking at consolidating and potentially relocating our global headquarters and what we know about the Charlotte region is a place we want to consider.”
Realtors in the area say relocation on a personal level are happening too.
Reed Jackson is the managing partner at Ivester Jackson and said, “The pandemic has definitely accelerated interest in this area.”
He says he’s regularly fielding calls from people in bigger cities who want to come to Charlotte including a recent client who works in the finance industry.
“He was from New York and came down in January for a three month assignment. Then COVID hit and then he just decided to buy a house here and he’s not going back to New York,” Jackson said.
The increase in working remotely is a factor too. Companies have figured out some of their people can live anywhere and less dense cities are more attractive right now.
“When it comes to recruiting businesses, it’s a really good tool in our tool kit to help us when we’re selling the Charlotte region to places that are very dense,” Pearce said.
Both men also say the things that have always made Charlotte attractive should hold true after the pandemic: quality of life, low cost of living, great airport and a growing pool of talent.