BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) — Real estate industry professionals say the coronavirus is one of the likely factors fueling a boom in large ranch sales in Western States.

The Billings Gazette reports real estate brokers are experiencing high demand for ranches in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, Idaho and Washington.

Some real estate professionals say buyers may believe rural areas are safer from COVID-19 or are driven by fear of social unrest, masks, and social distancing mandates with which the buyers disagree.