The coronavirus pandemic dramatically changed the way we live and work and even question where we live and work. One of the most interesting results of the pandemic has been the increase in the number of people looking to move. 56% of Americans plan to move in 2021, compared to just 35% that moved in 2020. People are not just leaving California, but other states too.
Due to the shifting economy, rise in remote work opportunities, and desire to relocate to less densely populated areas, more than one in five Americans have either moved during the pandemic or know someone who moved. Now its 2021 and things have settled down but it doesn’t seem like the momentum to move to a state with a lower cost of living is going to settle down. Lets look at some of data
Affordable Living Is Top Priority For Many Americans
With the economy in an uncertain state and unemployment still at high levels, Americans are looking to relocate to cities with a low cost of living. Many people moving in 2020 couldn’t afford their current housing due to COVID-related loss of job or income, and nearly half of Americans are thinking about moving to reduce living expenses.
Even Americans with financial security are moving away from cities with high living expenses. The rise of remote work has allowed many Americans who previously lived in expensive cities to relocate to more affordable locations. Without the need to live in large metros and business hubs, many people that typically live in metro areas are seeking better housing and living expenses. This is one of the big reasons why Americans living in urban areas say they’re twice as likely to move out compared to those living in rural or suburban areas.
Movers Are Looking For More Space
In an effort to avoid crowded areas and contact with strangers, many movers opted for more spacious areas in 2020, a moving trend that’s expected to continue in 2021. 39% of people living in urban areas said COVID-19 has caused them to consider leaving for a less crowded space, and nearly 30% of 2020 movers relocated out of fear of contracting the virus.
More Americans are seeking homes with additional outdoor space and less cramped quarters. People want homes with more rooms, spacious backyards, and uncrowded streets. The desire for more space has American movers flocking to Idaho, New Mexico, and Maine, which are among the least densely populated states in America. On the flip side, the top four states people departed from in 2020 are New York, California, Illinois, and Washington DC. These are all among the most densely populated states in the U.S.
Remote Working Opportunities Are Attractive
The growth of remote working opportunities could cause a massive shift in this year’s moving trends. Between 14 and 23 million Americans are planning to relocate due to remote work opportunities, and more than half (54.7%) of them are moving more than two hours away from their current location. Those with remote-working jobs no longer have to adhere to the high housing costs of massive labor markets, and a large portion of those individuals are taking advantage of the opportunity of less expensive homes.
As more Americans have experienced remote work, its desirability has increased. If Americans don’t already have a work-from-home job that allows them to live where they want, they’re looking to move to cities where remote work opportunities are more plentiful. Nearly 10% of the population in cities like Raleigh, Austin, andDenver work from home, making them attractive destinations.
People Moved to Suburbs Outside Big Cities
Though there are reports that most U.S. movers are exiting large cities en masse, there doesn’t appear to have been a definitive exodus. Rather, people are moving to smaller suburbs surrounding big cities. An examination of U.S. migration patterns revealed a nationwide move from downtown communities to the surrounding suburbs. Able to work remotely and no longer attached to city centers, homebuyers as a whole looked to purchase in less dense neighborhoods.
Interestingly, nearly 90% of Americans who moved in 2020 stayed in the same county. Take New York City, for example. In July 2020, there was a 44% increase in home sales in suburban communities surrounding NYC than during July 2019. Westchester County, which borders The Big Apple, saw a 112% increase in home sales. Meanwhile, the number of properties sold in Manhattan decreased by 56%, despite declining rental rates.
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