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Will Buyers Look Outside Cities as Remote Working Increases?

Will Buyers Look Outside Cities as Remote Working Increases?

More people than ever are working remotely. Some are working on a hybrid schedule with some days in the office. Companies have been increasingly allowing the option to work from home especially with the current circumstances we are all experiencing. Given all this, how will the housing market be affected?

Remote Work on the Rise

According to studies by Global Workplace Analytics and Flex Jobs, Working remotely increased in the U.S. 159% between 2005 and 2017. This does not include gig economy workers like free-lancers. These jobs have been increasing in recent years as well. A study done by Zillow reports, “A little over half (56%) of employed recent home buyers and exactly half of renters said they work from home at least one day a week. About two-thirds (67%) of sellers and a somewhat lower share (39%) of homeowners who have been in their home at least a year (and who tend to be older than buyers) said they enjoyed the occasional work-from-home day. Still, the commute isn’t entirely avoidable for most — only about one in five (21%) buyers, 16% of renters and 23% of sellers in the labor force said they work remotely full-time.”

Will Buyers Leave The City?

Industry leaders are making their prediction for an exodus from cities to more affordable suburban and rural areas. Recently, Redfin did a study of more than 900 workers, mostly from major metro areas like New York, Boston, San Francisco and Seattle. 50% of respondents said they would move if they were given the opportunity to work from home and 25% expect to have the opportunity moving forward. “Redfin is preparing for a seismic demographic shift toward smaller cities. Prior to this pandemic, the housing affordability crisis was already driving people from large cities to small. Now, more permissive policies around remote work, and a rising wariness about close quarters, will likely accelerate that trend.” - Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman.

There is evidence that this trend will continue. It may be time to strengthen marketing targeting relocation as more and more buyers venture away from large cities for affordable housing and a bit more space.

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