February 8, 2021 (KANSAS CITY, Mo.) – Even after a record-breaking 2019, United Country Real Estate shattered nearly 100 years of sales records in 2020 as an extraordinary number of people sought life and a lifestyle outside of the big cities. Not only did the company break records in sales volume and acreage sold, United Country’s web traffic increased over 30 percent year-over-year as more people searched for properties outside of urban markets.

The largest increases in sales volume were in the categories of farms, ranches, land, country homes, hunting land and recreational properties. Each category grew double digits, with the largest increase being in hunting land and ranches, which saw an over 40 percent increase from a record-breaking 2019.

“It is interesting to look at what is driving this huge migration and consider the implications for 2021 and beyond. There are some long-standing truths, trends and things about country life that have attracted nearly everyone who has ever driven off the interstate onto a backroad for more than a mile. Add to that recent political, societal, health and technological changes and it’s a confluence of motivators to make the move or at least have a place to escape to for the weekend,” said Mike Duffy, president of United Country Real Estate.

The explosive growth in 2020 was seen by United Country agents in every part of the country. Many agents described being flooded with buyers searching for homes and land outside of the bigger cities. Agents also continue to search for more properties to list in 2021 due to a very strong market causing inventory of properties for sale to be at historic lows. That said, agents see property owners taking advantage of the strong demand and market, and recognize it is the right time in lifestyle, country and rural markets to sell some or all of their properties to lock in these very strong historical values.

“When it comes to the year 2020, the words that come to mind are unpredictable and ever-changing,” said Travis Hamele, owner/broker of United Country | Midwest Lifestyle Properties in Wisconsin, the largest United Country office in the nation. “I think the trend of people wanting out of the densely populated areas will continue into this year. People want that peace and be able to have chickens or a couple cows and sit out on their deck, overlooking a lake and drink coffee. If there’s a rural property that is checking all of the boxes and is affordable, they go fast. That’s what we are seeing. So, really now it’s about educating sellers that now is the time to sell with that type of movement.”

There are many reasons for the shift to rural areas in 2020. The biggest reasons being societal changes due to COVID-19, social unrest in urban areas and political turmoil driving people to a quieter, more peaceful area of the country where social distancing is a way of life. These combined with factors like retirement, the ability for employees to work from home, affordable gas prices and record low mortgage rates continue to drive the trend into 2021.

“Living in the country or a lifestyle market for example in the mountains or with waterfront is great. It gives you a healthy and peaceful lifestyle while also giving you a sense of freedom,” said Duffy. “In addition, some of our clients are ranchers, farmers, investors and large land owners looking to expand their operations. We saw this throughout 2020 and see this interest continuing in the near-term.”

United Country Real Estate is the leader in lifestyle and country real estate in rural areas, small towns and mid-sized cities. The company specializes in the sale of farmland, ranches, recreational and hunting land, waterfront property, mountain homes and much more. If you want to learn more or find a property for sale near you, visit www.UnitedCountry.com where you can search by property type, location and keyword(s).