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A new analysis from the National Association of Realtors suggests that Northern Virginia localities are well-positioned to deal with the current work-at-home environment, as well as what the future may bring.

The ranking does not focus on how many people are working from home during the pandemic – although that is a component – but looks more broadly at the infrastructure available to support working remotely.

Four local jurisdictions made the top 30 in the ranking of 3,142 counties (and, in Virginia, independent cities) across the nation: Loudoun County ranked fifth, Falls Church 19th, Arlington 23rd and Fairfax County 30th.

(For the full methodology and ranking, go here: https://bit.ly/3lR13kV.)

In addition to Loudoun County in fifth place, the top 10 included Forsyth County, Ga.; Douglas County, Colo.; Los Alamos County, N.M.; Collin County, Texas; Hamilton County, Ind.; Williamson County, Tenn.; Delaware County, Ohio; Broomfield County, Colo.; and Dallas County, Iowa.

“The coronavirus pandemic greatly accelerated the number of workers who are able to work from home,” said NAR chief economist Lawrence Yun. “Possibly a quarter of the labor force may be permitted to work from anywhere outside of the office even after a vaccine is discovered – compared to only 5 percent prior to the pandemic – and this will greatly change the landscape of where people buy homes.”

The top 30 counties on the ranking represent about 1 percent of all households in the nation. Texas leads all states with seven localities among the top 30. Virginia is second with four, followed by Colorado and Georgia with three each, and Florida and North Carolina with two apiece. Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, New Mexico, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee and Utah each have one county in the top 30.

Whether the pandemic will disrupt historic migration patterns remains a question.

On the commercial front, further questions loom.

“The commercial real estate outlook appears uncertain, as office spaces may get smaller and organizations consider moving from having a central business district headquarters to several suburban satellite offices,” Yun said.

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