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Buyer Preferences for Home and Work Have Changed

Survey: Long-held ideas about work, home and commute times have been upended, and 41% of Americans would take a pay cut to live in a more affordable location.

MADISON, N.J. – Americans are no longer confined to previously held beliefs about where home can or has to be. Thanks to the “Great Resignation” – the movement of people leaving the workforce during the pandemic – many Americans don’t feel tethered to one place anymore, and 41% of employed Americans would be willing to take a pay cut or accept a new job with a lower salary in order to move to a more affordable location, according to a Harris Poll survey conducted for Coldwell Banker Real Estate.

The survey attempted to find out what’s on home buyers’ and sellers’ minds, and it found that younger generations are more inclined than older ones to live in a more affordable location, even if it means taking a lower salary. Compared with survey data from earlier this year, the brand also found that household sizes are continuing to expand.

  • The “great resignation” impacts “home”: 41% of employed Americans would consider a job making less money in order to move to a more affordable location, though it varied by age group:
  • 18-34 (51%)
  • 35-44 (47%)
  • 45-54 (32%)
  • 55-64 (27%)
  • Budget friendly moves: Nearly half (46%) of employed Americans who live in the northeast and west regions would be willing to take a pay cut or accept a new job with a lower salary in order to move to a more affordable location.
  • More people under one roof: Household sizes are continuing to grow, especially with younger homeowners. 57% of young homeowners (age 18-34) have felt their housing needs impacted by a growing household in October 2021 compared with 50% in February 2021.

Where are they headed?

Miami, Atlanta, and Austin, Texas emerged as top locations they would consider relocating.

  • Nearly a third (31%) of males aged 18-34 would consider moving to Miami. Females aged 18-34 were more likely to consider relocating to Austin among the options listed (21%).
  • Miami and Austin also ranked highest among the options listed in potential relocation for those with children under 18 in the household at 21% and 17%, respectively.
  • 28% of Americans who self-identified as Black (Not Hispanic) would consider relocating to Atlanta, the highest percentage for Black respondents of any major city surveyed.

Other survey findings

  • The home selling process is becoming less intimidating. Only 16% of homeowners (Oct. 2021) said an intimidating home selling process would be a concern if they were to list their home today, compared with 20% in June 2021 and 24% in February 2021.
  • Over a third of Americans (34%) would like a program that offers benefits to a seller such as no upfront cost for renovations, an instant cash offer or additional listing exposure.
  • On real estate websites, the top features homeowners want when buying or selling are a feature that would give them an estimated sale price for their home (39%) and a feature that would let them compare the cost of living in different zip codes (37%).

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