POCONO, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — U.S. home prices surged by more than 18% in October according to a home price index released Tuesday.

“I think in June of 2020 the whole market pretty much exploded,” said Diane Edwards, real estate salesperson at RE/Max of the Poconos.

Going back in time to the peak pandemic in June 2020 people were at home with not much to spend money on.

Edwards tells us many ventured out buying a new house.

“As prices went up, people came from different areas, mainly from new york and new jersey, a lot of Philadelphia as well. But they came in from the cities because they had this extra money,” stated Edwards.

Edwards explains the Pocono region was marked as fourth in the nation for short-term rentals. Along with the home prices surging by more than 18%, potential homebuyers are asking will the costs ever go down?

“What I see is maybe we have a new normal here with these prices. So that would be great for anyone selling a home. If you’re buying a home, just keep your eyes peeled and try to get the best deal that you can,” explained Edwards.

Lots of people coming in from out of town end up making it their permanent residence. Carla Smith lives part-time in New Jersey and the Poconos. She says her love for the mountains and skiing is what brought her family here.

“The population up here is so great. It’s not as densely populated so it does give us an opportunity to feel a little bit more fresh air definitely during these times,” said Smith.

Edwards tells Eyewitness News with the new year coming up anyone looking for a home in the area should keep an eye out and consult with a realtor for when is the best time to make a purchase.