Survey: Crime Data Shapes Half of Owners’ Relocation Decisions

Two women loading boxes into moving truck.

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About half of homeowners who have moved since the pandemic cited crime and safety as the most important factor in deciding where to move to, according to a new survey of 1,000 consumers commissioned by Redfin. The crime and safety of an area was even more important factor than the cost of living or school quality.

“There are plenty of positive reasons to make a move, but sometimes people move to flee a place where they felt unsafe,” says Daryl Fairweather, Redfin’s chief economist. “Concerns with crime, especially among homeowners, contributed to a recent increase in migration out of cities and into more suburban and rural areas. Cities historically have been able to attract residents looking for high-paying jobs, but now that remote work is ubiquitous, some may have to work on improving safety and other quality of life factors to retain and attract residents. This might be an uphill battle, because as wealthy residents leave, they take tax dollars with them, leaving cities with less resources to address safety concerns for remaining residents.”


A bar chart of survey results showing the reasons people moved, with crime being the biggest reason at 50% for buyers


Americans who moved to an entirely new metro area rather than remain local were more likely to say that taxes and climate change factored into their decision of where to move to, the study finds.


Another bar chart showing long-distance and local movers' priorities, with taxes and climate change being the main differences.