Everyone’s life changed in some way over the last year. There have been many impacts to the Outer Banks as a result of the pandemic but one that locals are beginning to see in this area is a shortage of housing.
Many of the homes that our local workers have lived in are being converted to vacation homes or places of refuge for people who live out of the area. Recently I had a client who purchased a home and wanted to rent out a small section of it to a year-round resident. Within two hours of posting an advertisement on Craig’s List, he had thirty-five anxious people contacting him about the space. Many of our local workers are going to have to relocate further from the beach to keep their jobs here.
It is likely that this shortage of housing will also affect the cost of labor on the Outer Banks. For example, to have an electrician’s helper live here, he’s going to have to pay more in rent or pay more to commute. There’s no easy solution to this problem because we live on an island with limited land and the drive from anywhere else involves a drive over at least one long bridge. That’s not something someone can easily do on a bicycle.
It will be interesting how this housing issue works itself out. If you have an empty house or an empty space that could be rented then it’s a good idea to consider accepting a tenant.