Skip To Content

The Great Migration: Examining the Impact on WNY’s Real Estate Market and Beyond

At this time it has become almost like the weather. To paraphrase Mark Twain, …”everyone seems to talk a lot about it but no one seems to be doing very much about it.  Now I am not talking about the Mongolian Hordes that rampaged across Asia in the 14th century. I am not talking about the Age of Exploration that followed Columbus to the new world which caused pizza to become a staple in the American diet 500 years later. I am talking about what is happening in the Real Estate market today and I will even extend it to WNY only.

     One of the things we are witnessing across the lower 48 states is a major exodus from Blue states to Red states. It would take a team of staff writers and serious journalists to address that piece of the puzzle by itself. Either way, It shouldn’t come as a great surprise to anyone who lives in NY, however, when they learn that the Excelsior state has had a net loss in population as well. Add to this, the incredibly mismanaged state of Real Estate affairs in NYC and you can see why it starts to become the subject of scores of heated debates. And just like the migration events that have occured over the course of the most recent milenia, people again seem to be moving or looking for greener pastures.  Here’s the problem with this.

The Great Migration of today is virtually 100% economically driven.  Whether it is at our southern border or people from downstate looking to move out, most of the larger portions of the population who are on the move have poor skill sets and very few opportunities to find employment.  So as much as the Buffalo/WNY Real estate market certainly might be more affordable than finding a flat in Manhattan, I am fairly certain that 716land isn’t a bulwark for those seeking all of those minimum wage jobs that the government loves to promote.  The biggest concern for places like NY and the Big Apple more specifically, is that the top of the food chain is leaving for those greener pastures faster than the bottom. (How many of your neighbors have had conversations with you that indicate that people are just fed up with how the government is screwing all of us in NY State?) If this keeps up, it means that the government which is already broke will have fewer people paying into the system and the problem with housing becomes worse. 

One of the newest obstacles that your state government is relentlessly trying to implement in an effort to ameliorate the housing “crisis” is the obsession to pass the “Good Cause Eviction” bill. In its grandiose desire to help renters it effectively makes it nearly impossible to evict a bad tenant.  Anyone who thinks this is a good thing needs to definitely consider the law of unintended consequences. This change in the legislature is in essence RENT CONTROL statewide.  If you need to know how Rent Control played out in the past, all you need to do is drive through the south Bronx which effectively became a war zone for nearly 70 years because of it. Landlords simply abandoned their buildings. Block after block of beautiful pre-war buildings were left to be dismantled by vandals when they no longer became habitable. It wasn’t pretty.

I started out by saying this subject was like the weather. Regrettably, I continue to talk about it too and like most people I am not able to do very much about it either. So for now, even in our beautiful Queen City and the suburbs that surround it, please be aware that the Real Estate market is complex and as much as this migration has not had a very noticeable impact on the current market, you need to stay tuned on this situation to see the total impact down the line. No one will go unaffected by it. So please be aware that at some point in your life, this will have an impact on you, even if you think you were the smartest guy at the party who escaped to Florida, last year.

Hey, I wrote the book on Real Estate, literally.”

Author Brendan J. Cunningham is a New York Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker, lead of the Platinum Team at HusVar Real Estate, as well as an accomplished writer, Shakespearean trained professional actor, and podcaster.
Start your home search now at

Trackback from your site.

Leave a Reply