Will Abortion Ban Trigger People To Move Out of the U.S.?

Will Abortion Ban Trigger People To Move Out of the U.S.?

Residential News » Washington D.C. Edition | By Michael Gerrity | July 8, 2022 8:50 AM ET

Post Supreme Court ruling, U.S. consumer demand for European housing surged 300%, Spain, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and Portugal top search destinations

According to a new report by HousingAnywhere, an abnormally high increase of US residents searching for housing in Europe occured immediately after the US supreme court ruling of the abortion ban. The company was already witnessing a steady year-over-year average increase of around 85% after the gradual lift of mobility restrictions caused by COVID. However, an average increase of over 200% in the past 5 days suggests the potential impact the ruling may have on the people living in the US. The abnormal surge kicked off on the very day of the 24th, almost immediately after the announcement, soon reaching close to a 300% increase on the 25th. Considering the time difference between the US and Europe, this suggests that people in the US were reacting 'fast and furious' to the news. This pattern is also evident in Google search trends, where an instant peak of the US residents using the search term 'move to Europe' is witnessed during the same period.

It's all about where people 'want' to live

The topic of flexible and borderless lifestyles was on the rise already before the pandemic. Millennials and Gen Zs started to value the freedom and experiential richness that mobility can provide over stability. Ironically, mobility restrictions that were imposed by the global pandemic only accelerated this trend, as what we have only imagined happening, actually happened overnight: living, working and learning anywhere. When restrictions gradually got lifted, the explosion of people wanting to move across the borders were somewhat expected, also fueled by typical compensatory psychology. The evidence is very visible on the HousingAnywhere platform as demand level continues to increase rapidly in Europe since Q3 of 2021, breaking the record every quarter as seen in the International Rent Index by City. The surge of US residents searching for housing in Europe due to the radical decision of the supreme court, confirms that this trend will only speed up to the level that mobility becomes the norm.

"It is all about the place where people want to live: the place they can identify themselves with, aspire to flourish and be inspired by. It's driven by personal values and beliefs. Therefore, people's choice will be heavily influenced by the potential impact of such political and socio-economic decisions that the federal or local government makes" says Djordy Seelmann, CEO of HousingAnywhere.

No more traditional barriers of international mobility

The top 5 European countries that showcase the biggest YoY increase in terms of the US residents searching for their housing options are Spain, Italy, Germany, the United Kingdom and Portugal. The top 5 cities are London, Berlin, Lisbon, Madrid and Barcelona. It is not too surprising to find the United Kingdom and London in the list as their fellow English-speaking destinations. However, the rise of other destinations indicates that traditional barriers of international mobility no longer impact people's decision to be where they want to live. Seelmann: "when cities and countries compete to attract and retain talent, many of the traditional barriers are bound to break down. Coupled with different value systems and quality of life each location represents, we foresee that traditional barriers will no longer stop people from living anywhere.

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