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Justin Fox

The Rise of Work-From-Home Towns

Even before the pandemic there were places where not commuting was a pretty normal thing to do.

If you can work from anywhere, why not here?

If you can work from anywhere, why not here?

Photographer: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

The coronavirus pandemic, and the accompanying mass shift to doing white-collar work from home, has led to reports of real estate frenzies in scenic places. The Kingston, New York, metropolitan area — aka Ulster County — which stretches from the Hudson River into the Catskill Mountains, had the fastest-rising home prices of any metro area in the country in the second quarter. In Lake Tahoe and neighboring Truckee, California, brokers complain that they are “running out of homes for sale.” In western Montana, out-of-staters have been buying houses sight-unseen, in cash.

One thing these places have in common, other than mountains, is that even before the pandemic they had lots of residents who usually did their jobs from home. Here are the metropolitan and micropolitan areas with the highest percentages of workers who usually worked at home in 2018, according to the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (2019 data will be out later this year).