A smaller share—22%—would be hesitant about moving to a place where they’d be in the racial minority.
The share of homebuyers and sellers who would be hesitant about moving to an area where most residents have differing political views from their own is slowly shrinking, down to 38 percent this year from 41 percent in 2017 and 42 percent in 2016. But they’re much more likely to be open to the idea of moving to a place where they’d be in the racial, ethnic or religious minority, with just 22 percent saying they’d be hesitant about it.
That’s according to a June Redfin-commissioned survey of more than 3,000 U.S. residents who bought or sold a primary residence in the last year, or plan to in the next 12 months. Where possible and applicable, results were compared with those from similar past surveys.
“This decade’s tumultuous political climate has widened the aisle between parties not only in Congress and the voting booth, but in our nation’s communities,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “While the share of homebuyers and sellers who hesitate about moving to a place where most people have different ideologies has been declining, I imagine tensions will start to flare again as we head into the 2020 election year. As more people—especially young professionals—head inland from blue coastal cities seeking affordability in smaller inland metros, it’s likely they will seek out communities where they’ll live, work and send their kids to school with like-minded people. We expect to see red places in the middle of the country become redder and the blues bluer as the migration trends we’ve been reporting continue.”
Sixteen percent of respondents would be enthusiastic about moving to an area where most residents have differing political views, a notable increase from 9 percent in 2017 and 8 percent in 2016. Nearly half of homebuyers and sellers—46 percent—would be neutral at the prospect.
Broken down by age, 23 percent of respondents aged 25 to 34 would be enthusiastic about moving to an area where most residents do not share their political views, a higher share than any other age group. Just 6 percent of people aged 65 and over would be enthusiastic at the prospect.
When the responses are broken down by race, 40 percent of white homebuyers and sellers said they’d be hesitant about moving to an area where most residents have different political views, a higher share than any other racial group. Black and African American respondents were most likely to be enthusiastic at the prospect (22% reported enthusiasm, versus 14% of white respondents).
Non-white respondents to the surveys included people who indicated their race was black or African American, East Asian or Asian American, Latinx or Hispanic American, Middle Eastern or Arab American and Native American.
Young people are most likely to be enthusiastic about moving to an area where most people are a different race than they are
Twenty-nine percent of homebuyers and sellers would be enthusiastic about moving to an area where they’d be in the racial, ethnic or religious minority. A smaller share—22 percent—would feel hesitant at the prospect, and just about half of respondents said they feel neutral about it. The June 2019 survey was the first time Redfin asked this question.
Forty-one percent of people under 25 years old would feel enthusiastic about moving to an area where most residents are a different race, ethnicity or religion than they are, more than any other age group. The older the respondent, the less likely were to say they’d be enthusiastic about moving to a place where they would find themselves in the minority, with just 16 percent of people aged 65 and older reporting enthusiasm.
Forty-three percent of black or African American people would be enthusiastic about moving to an area where most residents are of a different race, ethnicity or religion, a higher share than any other respondent racial group. White respondents were the least likely to say they’d be enthusiastic about moving to a place where they’d be in the minority, with just 26 percent indicating that response.
Just 10 percent of black or African American respondents said they would be hesitant to move to an area where they’d be in the minority, less than any other group, versus 25 percent of white respondents, more than any other group.
One thing to note: It’s possible respondents may have felt more comfortable saying they were hesitant about moving to a place where political views are different from their own than moving to a place where they’d be in the racial minority, as it has become acceptable and common place to openly avoid interaction with people of different political opinions.
A separate March survey of real estate agents helps shed light on the problem of racial discrimination in the industry that has historically contributed to racial segregation. White agents were more than twice as likely as non-white agents to count white homebuyers and sellers among their last 10 clients. While most white and non-white agents agreed that minority clients are treated fairly, agents of color were much more likely to believe that bias in the industry is pervasive. One-third of non-white agents agreed with the statement “Bias is pervasive; many agents unconsciously presume minority buyers are less desirable.” Just 18 percent of white agents agreed.