Coronavirus Leads Many to Consider Moving House

Coronavirus Leads Many to Consider Moving House

Survey shows attraction to less-populated areas with more opportunity
Moving out of an apartment

With the pandemic putting more of a focus on spending time at home, many workers who are able to do their jobs from anywhere are contemplating big changes to where they live, a new survey shows.

Since the coronavirus outbreak began, consumers have seen their personal and professional lives upended. Now, a new survey by digital payment platform operator Fast has found that more than one-third (35%) of those currently working remotely are considering moving house amid the changes brought on by the pandemic.

In search of a change of scenery

As consumers practice social distancing in order to reduce the transmission of the coronavirus, some are looking for ways to permanently decrease the number of people they come into contact with. Among the survey respondents considering a move, 40% said they were motivated by the desire to live in a less-populated area.

Other workers thinking about moving cite the fact that their work is now less tied to their location. Amid the expansion of remote working, 36% of respondents said there are now more career options for those who want to work from home than before the pandemic. As a result, they aren’t constrained to living near their employer.

Other workers, meanwhile, see moving as a way to counteract the economic anxiety because of the pandemic. Among respondents who were thinking about moving, 31% said they were specifically looking for a lower cost of living.

Desire to move varies by age, gender, geography

The survey results suggest younger consumers are more likely to be willing to pick up and leave than their older peers. Among all respondents, 41% of those aged 18-34 and 40% of those aged 35-49 said they were thinking about relocating. By comparison, only 17% of those 50 and older were giving consideration to the idea.

Men appeared to be more keen on the idea of moving, with 44% of male respondents thinking about relocating, compared to only 24% of women.

Likewise, remote workers who live in the West were the most likely to be entertaining thoughts of relocating, with 43% of this group thinking about moving, followed by:

  • 36% of those in the Northeast
  • 35% of those in the South
  • 22% of those in the Midwest

While economic concerns unleashed by the pandemic seem to have transcended income levels, salary size and education level may play a role in how willing a remote worker is to relocate right now.

Among respondents, the highest earners were most likely to consider changing residence, perhaps because they may have a relatively easier time finding a remote job. Nearly half (49%) of those making more than $150,000 a year were thinking about relocating, while less than a third (31%) of those making less than that amount were considering it.

Similarly, 44% of those with postgraduate degrees were considering a move, compared to 26% with an undergraduate degree, 36% of those with “some college” and 35% of those with no college.

If you too are looking into a new residence, make sure you budget out the costs of a move. And note too that there are even some places in the U.S. that offer incentives to move there.

Methodology: Fast surveyed 600 adults who currently have a job that can be performed remotely. The survey was conducted during July 5-7, 2020.

Tamara E. Holmes

Tamara E. Holmes is a Washington, DC-based writer who covers personal finance, entrepreneurship and careers.