Will COVID-19 cause Americans to move to the suburbs? Analysis by Zillow indicated where homeowners choose to live could be shifting due to the COVID-19 outbreak. According to a recent MReport, of the people who are able to work from home, roughly 75% said they would like to continue to do so, but that may encourage them to move outside of the city. Additionally, 66% of those who were given the opportunity to work from home would be likely to consider moving if they had the flexibility to work from home in the future. 24% of those surveyed claimed they have thought about moving as a result of spending more time at home because of social distancing.
Zillow Senior Principal Economist, Skylar Olsen, comments on the many pros and cons of moving from an urban area to a suburban neighborhood. On one hand, working remotely could mean more homeowners can choose those larger homes farther out. This would ease the price pressure on urban areas. On the other hand, moving to the suburbs means they would be farther from a wider variety of restaurants, shops, yoga studios, and art galleries. Because a large amount of Americans value having access to those amenities, Olsen does not believe the shift towards suburban living will be large scale. Prior to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Pew Research Center found that 7% of workers had the option to work from home. This is a very small amount considering that 40% of jobs can be performed remotely. Zillow also found that in mid-April, page views of for-sale listings on Zillow were 18% higher than in 2019. Of the homeowners that would move, given the ability to work from home, 31% said they would consider moving in order to live in a home with an office, 30% said they’d move to be in a larger home, and 29% they’d move to be in a house with more rooms.
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