Experts say coronavirus-related relocation and the need for space are the prime factors.By Ross Guidotti

WESTMORELAND COUNTY (KDKA) — A new study shows rural home sales in Pennsylvania increased during the pandemic.

According to the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, COVID-19 and its impact are the driving forces. The study says the biggest impact was seen on the eastern side of the state, but western Pennsylvania did see some changes when it comes to people moving to rural areas.

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According to the Center for Rural Pennsylvania, the actual number of property transfers based on sales went down roughly 2 percent.

However, if you break that down and compare rural to urban, there is a decline of about 6 percent. But there was a 9 percent increase in housing sales in rural Pennsylvania.

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

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What’s more, a large number of the new residents were from out of state. A look at a map in the study shows in Westmoreland County, the transfer number equaled only 1.2, while Fayette and Somerset counties show 12.3 and 11.6 percent increases in home sales, respectively.

Experts say coronavirus-related relocation and the need for space are the prime factors.

“Business closures, job restructuring, and health worries have caused more people to relocate,” said State Sen. Lisa Baker.

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“New construction is on the rise like I’ve never seen in the business,” said Dionne Malush of Realty ONE Group Gold Standard.