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Redfin Survey Finds 1 in 10 Home Sellers Are Moving Because They’re Being Called Back to the Office

September 13, 2023 8:00 AM

The most common reason respondents gave for relocating was the desire for more space, being closer to family and a lower cost of living

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- (NASDAQ: RDFN) — Return-to-work policies are motivating one in every 10 (10.1%) U.S. home sellers to relocate, according to a new survey commissioned by Redfin (redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage. While returning to the office wasn’t the most common reason respondents listed for moving, the response rate is notable because back-to-office mandates are an emerging cause of relocation.

That’s according to a Redfin-commissioned survey conducted by Qualtrics in May and June 2023. The survey was fielded to 5,079 U.S. residents. This report focuses on the 616 respondents who indicated that they’re likely to sell a home and move in the next year.

In Boise, ID, Redfin Premier agent Shauna Pendleton has a pair of clients who are selling their home after only about a year because their Seattle-based employer is requiring them to return to the office. They will likely have to sell at a loss since they bought when home prices were near their peak.

“My sellers both work at the same company, which told them they have to be in the office three days a week or they’ll lose their jobs. They have six months to make the move,” Pendleton said. “They'll probably have to take a $100,000 loss on their home. Their new house in Seattle won’t be anything close to the size of their property in Boise, and their mortgage rate will be much higher.”

Roughly 1 in 5 Respondents Cited Social Views, Taxes, Crime as Reasons for Move

With mortgage rates near the highest level in over two decades, there aren’t a ton of people selling their homes, meaning many of those who are selling are doing so because they don’t have the luxury to wait. But the results of Redfin’s survey show that movers today are still considering factors including climate change and social issues when deciding where to live.

Nearly one in five (19.3%) respondents with plans to sell their home in the next year said they want to relocate to live in a place better aligned with their views on social issues. A similar share cited lower taxes (19%) and concerns about safety/crime (17.9%).

Also notable: one in 10 (10.6%) respondents said they’re planning to move because they’ve dealt with discrimination in their neighborhood. A similar share (8.4%) listed concerns about the impact of climate change on their neighborhood as a reason for relocation.

“Real estate is all about priorities and compromise,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “While a lot of homeowners are staying put, refusing to give up their rock-bottom mortgage rates, some are opting to trade their low rate for a safer neighborhood, lower taxes and/or neighbors with the same political views.”

The desire for more space is the most common factor driving people to relocate, with one-third (33.8%) of respondents citing it as a reason for their move. Next came the desire to be closer to family (22.6%), followed by the desire for a lower cost of living (21.6%).

Many of the people who are moving today want homes that are bigger and less expensive. While those two pursuits may seem contradictory, some house hunters are achieving both by moving somewhere that’s more affordable. Of course, high mortgage rates are eating away some of the benefit of relocating to a less expensive place, with the average 30-year-fixed mortgage rate now at 7.12%.

To view the full report, including charts, please visit:
https://www.redfin.com/news/moving-return-to-office-survey-2023

About Redfin

Redfin (www.redfin.com) is a technology-powered real estate company. We help people find a place to live with brokerage, rentals, lending, title insurance, and renovations services. We sell homes for more money and charge half the fee. We also run the country's #1 real estate brokerage site. Our home-buying customers see homes first with on-demand tours, and our lending and title services help them close quickly. Customers selling a home in certain markets can have our renovations crew fix up their home to sell for top dollar. Our rentals business empowers millions nationwide to find apartments and houses for rent. Customers who buy and sell with Redfin pay a 1% listing fee, subject to minimums, less than half of what brokerages commonly charge. Since launching in 2006, we've saved customers more than $1.5 billion in commissions. We serve more than 100 markets across the U.S. and Canada and employ over 5,000 people.

For more information or to contact a local Redfin real estate agent, visit www.redfin.com. To learn about housing market trends and download data, visit the Redfin Data Center. To be added to Redfin's press release distribution list, email [email protected]. To view Redfin's press center, click here.

Redfin Journalist Services:

Kenneth Applewhaite, 206-588-6863

[email protected]

Source: Redfin

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