House Hunters Are Leaving the City, but There’s Nothing to Buy

For years, people most wanted to live in places where it was the hardest to build. Now, with a rise in remote work, exurban areas look more appealing, and builders can’t keep up.

Homes on one of the many man-made lakes in the River Islands subdivision in Lathrop, Calif.Credit…Peter DaSilva for The New York Times

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By Conor Dougherty and Ben Casselman

LATHROP, Calif. — They had a down payment. They were prequalified for a mortgage. They were willing to move almost an hour’s drive eastward. But the number that really mattered was “32.”

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