Among those fleeing are parents with young children who had already been eyeing moves to suburbs and frustrated singletons who no longer see the point in paying exorbitant rent prices.
'Droves' of people are fleeing New York City permanently to live in the suburbs or smaller cities - sparking questions of how the city will bounce back once coronavirus lockdown is lifted
- Young families who were considering moves to the suburbs have been given the push they need, real estate experts say
- Singletons who can now work remotely from anywhere are also eyeing less expensive cities with better weather
- One real estate business told DailyMail.com they receive 'hundreds' of inquiries a week from people trying to leave
- It raises questions of how the city's tax income will be affected by an exodus
- It is unclear how and when the city will reopen and which businesses will even be able to open their doors again after weeks with no income
- In the 20s, there was a population surge and building boom which came years after the Spanish Flu with a boom in industry and technology
- Some hope a similar thing will happen after the pandemic, but others think it will take 'years' for New York to return to its former glory if at all
Among those fleeing are parents with young children who had already been eyeing moves to suburbs and were give a push when the pandemic hit, and frustrated singletons who no longer see the point in paying exorbitant rent prices for small apartments when there is no city beyond their homes for them to enjoy.
It has sparked questions of whether New York will bounce back - like it did in the 1920s after the Spanish Flu, when there was a spike in creativity and population growth - but also fears that the Big Apple, beloved for its chaotic density and busyness, may never be the same again.
As of Wednesday morning, there were more than 134,000 cases of COVID-19 in New York City and more than 9.400 deaths.
Some of those leaving are young families who had been considering the suburbs of New Jersey and upstate New York when the city went into lockdown at the end of March.
Among them are Stan and Julia Usherenko who paid $25,000 over the asking price for their new home in Midland Park, New Jersey, after viewing it just once last month on the final weekend that open houses were allowed.
The couple had been living in Sheepshead Bay, Brookyln, with their two young children.
Heidi Matisoff and her husband have also bought a home in suburban New Jersey for them and their two young children.
'The lure of leaving the city has increased,' Heidi told The Wall Street Journal.
Alison Bernstein, who runs a service called Suburban Jungle which matches city clients with suburban homes, told DailyMail.com she has seen a surge in interest in suburban properties and properties in other cities.
'Our business has always been based on lifestyle. We have people who start the process, they say "let me see how it goes, I'm not quite sure", they are weighing their options of staying in the city or moving, maybe they're not quite ready though because they want to see what happens with preschool or if they have another baby.
What we've seen is, aside from new clients who need to get out for space for example if they have kids and two people working from home, the city's not meant for that, they are saying "we have to get out now."
'The existing clients who were on the fence before are also all coming back in their droves.
'They're saying "now is the time,"' she said.
Now that it's 'sinking in' it may be months before the city is back to normal if ever, she said, they are looking for more permanent options like buying homes.
While deals are yet to be finalized, she said she has received 'hundreds' of inquiries in the last week alone.
The househunters are bolstered by the knowledge that they can work from home with more ease than they previously thought.
'Typically, they would have to be within 40 minutes of the city but now they can work from home they have started pushing further out,' she said.
Many of her clients are young families.
'They specifically are having a hard time with it because when you have little kids and you have no space outside and the weather is getting nicer but it's scary to go outside or even to go in an elevator - toddlers touch everything. Those people are very much affected in terms of quality of life,' she said.
However there has also been a surge in interest among younger, childless people who are exploring other cities.