The numbers are striking: Sales of homes in the suburbs surrounding New York City were up 44% in July when compared to the previous year, reports the New York Times. The newspaper has anecdote after anecdote of houses in Westchester Country, New Jersey, and Long Island being snapped up in the blink of an eye for an amount higher than the asking price, sometimes without an in-person visit. "The demand is insane," says New Jersey realtor James Hughes. Because of the pandemic, "the people from New York are coming with a sense of urgency, and the thing they want is space," he adds. A story in the New York Post comes to the same conclusion from a different angle—it seems that moving companies in New York City are booked solid.
"It’s nuts," one tells the newspaper. "We have four of our own trucks—but we have so many [bookings] that we had to start using U-Haul trucks!" The Post says many of those moving out are leaving luxury buildings in Manhattan. All of this feeds into the debate of how strongly New York will be able to bounce back in a post-pandemic world. If rich people in particular move out in droves, it could hurt the city's ability to maintain services such as sanitation and police, a nonpartisan fiscal watchdog tells the Times. (Don't try to tell Jerry Seinfeld that New York is dead.)