Redfin: Back-to-Office Mandates Among Reasons for Relocation


A new survey commissioned by Redfin reveals that return-to-work policies are motivating one in every 10 (10.1%) home sellers in the United States to relocate. 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.

The Redfin-commissioned survey was conducted by Qualtrics in May and June and 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.

A Redfin agent notes that some homeowners being ordered back to work in person will be compelled to sell at a loss since they purchased their home rather recently at near-peak prices. Many will be returning to tighter markets where their dollar won’t stretch as far. Ultimately, they will be required to pay more to live in a smaller home.

With mortgage rates near the highest level in over two decades, there isn’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 survey results 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,” says Daryl Fairweather, Redfin chief economist.

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 around 7.12%.

Image by Drazen Zigic on Freepik

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments