Surely there must be other agents who work in resort areas! :)
Long Island is full of suburbs populated by people who work nearby or commute long distances. It would be next to impossible for many people to move closer to their jobs. I would have loved to live in the city when I worked there, but not in a shoebox, so I opted to commute. And there are countless folks who work in the Hamptons who could NEVER afford to live there.
Yes the gas prices and also the commute time is a large factor in the Bay Area. Families are just tired of commuting 1.5 to 2 hours to work and then having to do it again. A smaller home with less of a commute and the price of gas factor into the decision to purchase or sell those properties.
People are more looking into buying more efficient car, appliances, ..etc, as a big picture, rather than concentrating on where to live due to gas price - To be fair, we are also talking about one of the places where housing price is higher than others and a place where people just really want to come and live and are willing to sacrifice other things. .
And Myke - Suburbs are still extremely desirable for a lot of people, all depends on what you need at a certain stage of your life. Where I am, you can enjoy everything S.F. can offer with 1/2 hour of drive (none traffic hours)
My dream car is a Jaguar. My husband told me that's be a big mistake because they break down all the time and is very expensive to fix (o.k. as I said, it's a dream car from way before). I told him that if I could afford a Jaguar, I could afford the repairs.
Still a dream though and probably would never get that, just doesn't fit my personality.
So, for certain people, the gas price is not even considered.
I either want to be way out in some rural area where yes, i'm paying for the privelage - but I also get the benefits (use of land, privacy, quiet, etc) - or I want to be right in town where I can walk or ride my bike for most things I need.
Suburban properties offer the the worst comprimise. All the hassles but none of the benefits of rural or urban living.