About two-thirds of surveyed Redfin.com users who moved to a different metro over the last year have the same or lower housing costs; almost as many said their new home is the same size or bigger.
Key findings from a recent survey of Redfin.com users who moved to a different metro area from March 2020 through March 2021:
- 78% have the same or more disposable income after their move.
- 68% have the same or lower housing costs than before their move.
- 64% moved into a home that’s the same size or bigger than their previous residence.
- 80% have no regrets about their decision to relocate.
- 80% are happier post-move.
Seventy-eight percent of homebuyers we recently surveyed who have relocated to a different metro area since the pandemic began have the same or more disposable income after their move.
That’s according to a Redfin survey conducted the first two weeks of April of about 500 Redfin.com users who moved to a different metro area in the last year or plan to relocate in the next year.
Meanwhile, 68% of respondents who have relocated said their housing costs are the same or lower than they were before the move.
While housing costs went down and disposable income went up for many respondents, 64% reported moving into a house that’s bigger or at least the same size as their previous home. That’s likely because many homebuyers moved to metro areas with more affordable housing.
For 27% of respondents who have either moved in the last year or plan to move in the next year, living somewhere more affordable is a motivating factor in their move, and 21% said they’re relocating to live somewhere with lower taxes.
“I recently worked with a couple that listed their home in Los Angeles and moved to Ohio because the wife was able to work remotely,” said Los Angeles Redfin agent Lindsay Katz. “The house sold for more than $1 million and they bought a nice home in Ohio for around $400,000. The husband had been a teacher in Los Angeles, but now he’s able to stay home and raise the kids because they’re saving so much money. Their mortgage is half of what it was, taxes are lower, even food costs less. Remote work allowed them to re-evaluate their living situation and their finances.”
80% of people who relocated during the pandemic have no regrets
Eighty percent of respondents who have relocated to a different metro area since the onset of the pandemic have no regrets about their decision to move. Plus, 80% feel happier after their move.
There has been a fair amount of speculation about the psychology of pandemic homebuyers, with some wondering whether homebuyers will regret making such a major life decision in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime global crisis. Soaring prices and intense competition have led some homebuyers to do things they wouldn’t do in a typical year, like waive inspection and appraisal contingencies and buy homes sight unseen in an area they don’t yet live in.
While there are stories of certain buyers regretting their home purchases—and 15% of respondents to our survey have at least some regrets about their moves—it seems that the vast majority of homebuyers feel they made the right choice.
“For most people, relocating to a different metro area probably wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction to the pandemic,” said Redfin lead economist Taylor Marr. “A lot of Americans had already been considering relocating, but they were blocked from actually making the move because they had to stay close to their office or wanted to live near friends or their child’s school. The pandemic and resulting work-from-home culture has removed some of those barriers, allowing many people to choose where they live based on factors like affordability, proximity to family and weather. And the loosening of social ties that come with remote work, remote schooling and a lack of in-person events made it somewhat easier for families to leave their comfort zone and try somewhere new. Those people are likely to be satisfied with their moves because the circumstances of the pandemic have allowed them to chase their dreams.”