Many Pandemic Buyers Lowered Their Housing Costs

Woman wrapping boxes in stylish apartment

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About two-thirds of consumers who bought a larger home in a different city over the last year have the same or lower housing costs than before their move, according to a new Redfin survey. Seventy-eight percent of respondents say they have the same amount of disposable income or more, and 64% say they moved into a home that is the same size or larger than their previous property. Eighty percent say they are happier since they moved.

Many buyers moved to metro areas that offer more affordable housing. More than a quarter of survey respondents say affordability motivated their move; 22% say lower taxes also was a motivating factor. “For most people, relocating to a different metro area probably wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction to the pandemic,” said Taylor Marr, Redfin’s lead economist. “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,” said Marrs.