I've worked selling real estate here in Sullivan County for 13 years now. I've witnessed some great times when Sullivan County was 'the next big thing' (the country equivalent of Williamsburg or Fort Greene), and weathered some not great times, post-crash when the county also also struggling with the scarlet letter of potential 'fracking'. I've also seen the 'spotlight of cool' shift to other upstate areas like Milllerton in Dutchess County or Roxbury in Delaware County.
But the 'spotlight of cool' seems to be shifting back to Sullivan. I don't have any statistics; it's just a feeling. Recently, more than half the inquiries I'm fielding are from young Brooklynites. Notably, they're hearing from friends that they should check out Sullivan. Most know something about the county, or have friends with weekend houses here. There's definitely a buzz building again.
A key attraction is our affordability compared to other upstate locales within a few hours of NYC. For a moderate income young couple or family in the city with a $2,500+ monthly rent payment, a weekend getaway in Dutchess County or the Hudson Valley can be out of reach. But it's possible here. The hottest part of the market right now is $150K-$250K, with bidding wars increasingly common. (I've been involved in 2 bidding wars in this range in the past couple of weeks.)
But it's not just affordability that's generating the buzz. Sullivan County has been retooling for the past few years, with the lifestyle pieces — breweries, distilleries, farm-to-table restaurants, farm dinners, coffee spots, galleries and events like Pig Mountain and Mysteryland — that add to the area's already substantial outdoor appeal.