Redfin is reporting this week that twenty-six percent of Americans said their local government's response to the coronavirus pandemic has made them want to move away from where they currently live or change where they want to move to.
Twenty-one percent of respondents to the October survey said their local governments' pandemic response has made them like where they live more.
"2020 has made Americans realize just how much power their local governments have over their way of life," said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. "If residents of a certain area feel their local rules are too lax or too strict, they may want to move somewhere where the local leadership is more in line with their personal beliefs. And the rise in remote work means some people can move to a different city or state without changing jobs, removing what's usually a major barrier to relocation. Americans moving to areas more aligned with their political views could make certain counties and states more liberal or more conservative."
Forty-two percent of respondents would be hesitant to move to an area where most people have political views different from their own, up from 32% in June. And 24% would want to move to a different state if the Supreme Court were to increase states' rights with respect to health care, gun laws, etc.
Broken down by political affiliation, 32% of Trump voters said their local government's response to the coronavirus pandemic has made them want to move away from where they currently live or change where they want to move to. That's compared with 23% of Biden voters.
School shutdowns are also impacting where people want to live. Nineteen percent of survey respondents said school shutdowns have made them want to move away from where they currently live or change where they want to move to. Seventeen percent of respondents say school shutdowns have made them like where they live more.
Fifty-three percent of Americans are uncomfortable with the idea of moving to a big city, up from 39% before the pandemic, according to the same survey. On the flip side, 25% of respondents are comfortable with the idea of moving to a big city, down from 36% pre-pandemic.
"I've seen a lot of folks moving to Albuquerque and its surrounding areas from big coastal cities since the start of the pandemic because they no longer want to live in crowded, dense places," said Albuquerque Redfin agent Jimmy Martinez. "People who are relocating--mostly remote workers--are looking for big houses with a lot of outdoor space, relatively low cost of living, a laid-back vibe and outdoor recreation. The suburbs are particularly popular because buyers can find a larger lot to create their own private oasis. Housing prices are climbing to record highs, supply is incredibly low and most homes up for sale are receiving multiple offers."
U.S. home prices increased 6.7% in September 2020, compared with September 2019, marking the fastest annual acceleration since May 2014. On a month-over-month basis, home prices increased by 1.1% compared to August 2020.