Buyers Stick Close to Home in Their House Searches

Buyer shopping for homes on her computer

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More than 75% of would-be buyers say they’re looking to buy a home close to their current residence, according to a new survey of 514 consumers conducted by OJO Labs. Forty-one percent of respondents said they were looking for a house between 6 and 50 miles from their current home; 36% were looking for a home less than 5 miles away.

“Talking about the Great Migration masks the reality of homeownership and homeownership issues in America,” says John Berkowitz, OJO Labs CEO and founder. “The reality is that people are moving in the same way they always have been.”

For example, 66% of consumers currently living in a rural area are looking to move to buy a home in a rural area. Seventy-six percent of respondents living in a suburban area are looking to remain in the suburbs, the survey shows.

Then, why are buyers looking for a new home anyway if they’re sticking so close to their current community? Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they were moving for a better lifestyle fit, such as finding a home with more space or a desire to downsize or they wanted to be close to family and friends. Thirty-six percent of respondents said they were moving due to life events or life stage changes, such as getting married, a growing family, changing jobs, or moving cities.

Graph of why people are moving