After the post-pandemic hybrid work environment enabled prospective homeowners to live farther from employment centers, return-to-work policies are now motivating home sellers to relocate.
According to a survey commissioned by Redfin, 10.1% of home sellers cited a return to the office as a reason to relocate. Returning to the office was not the most commonly cited reason respondents listed for moving, but the response rate reflects the impact of emerging back-to-office mandates. Amazon, Apple, Goldman Sachs, Google, JPMorgan Chase, and Meta are among the major corporations that have asked their employees to come back to the office at least part time.
The near-record-high mortgage rate levels mean there are not a large number of people actively selling their home. As a result, those who are selling are doing so because they do not have the luxury to wait. However, the results of the Redfin survey indicate factors such as space, climate, change, and social issues are still impacting movers when deciding where to live.
Wanting more space, wanting to live closer to family, wanting a lower overall cost of living, and wanting a better deal on a home were the most commonly cited reasons for moving, according to Redfin.
Nearly 1 in 5 respondents with plans to sell their home in the next year said they want to relocate to live in a place better aligned with their views on social issues. A similar share of respondents cited lower taxes and concerns about safety and crime as motivation for moving.
Around 1 in 10 respondents said they plan to move because they’ve dealt with discrimination or because of concerns about the impact of climate change on their neighborhood.
“Real estate is all about priorities and compromise,” says Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “While a lot of homeowners are staying put, refusing to give up their rock-bottom mortgage rates, some are opting to trade their low rate for a safer neighborhood, lower taxes, and/or neighbors with the same political views.”
The Redfin-commissioned survey conducted by Qualtrics in May and June was fielded to 5,079 U.S. residents. The Redfin report focuses on the 616 respondents who indicated that they are likely to sell a home and move in the next year.