Omid Akale Explains Why America is Moving: Money, Space, Family, Lifestyle
The past few decades have seen a significant rise in urbanization; many people move from rural to urban areas in search of more lucrative career opportunities and a higher quality of living. However, the coronavirus has seemingly reversed that trend, with many people escaping ‘closed’ cities to pursue pre-pandemic pipe dreams, live closer to family, and embrace remote working.
In 2020, at least twice as many households left five of the US’s largest cities compared to the previous year. In New York City, over 150 000 households departed for greener pastures in 2020. In 2019, just under 30 000 households decided to up sticks.
So, how does the future of the real estate industry look? What were the leading reasons for last year’s relocations despite the pandemic? Here’s what Certified Distressed Property Expert and Investor Specialist Omid Akale has to say:
The Financial Aspect
The coronavirus has ground many industries to a halt. Consequently, unemployment is at an all-time high. As the pandemic hits people’s finances hard, many households are looking for ways to reduce costs, which often means relocating.
A recent survey conducted by the Pew Research Center found that a third of people relocated during the pandemic due to financial reasons.
Senior writer and editor D’Vera Cohn at Pew Research Center said: “A third of adults told us that money troubles of some kind, including the fact that they lost their job, was the main reason driving them to move on account of the virus.”
For many people like Alisa Johnson, city life in Chicago was a glitzy dream come true – until the pandemic essentially closed the city’s doors.
Johnson said: “I started feeling increasingly lonely in my city apartment. I just kind of felt trapped!”
When the independent lifestyle became a little drab, Alisa decided to move back to her hometown to live with her parents, which gave her mental and financial health a boost.
Naturally, many people living in densely populated areas worry about the spread of Covid-19. When the pandemic first hit, a significant portion of city dwellers vacated their cramped apartments in favor of less busy suburbs. Again, many people chose to prioritize their finances and leave expensive cities for more affordable yet no less desirable areas.
Now that so many people have no real need to visit the office to work, some households have decided they no longer need to reside near their workplace. Instead, they can move to distant locations to pursue a cheaper cost of living and a better lifestyle.
What Does the Future Look Like?
According to recent surveys conducted by real estate brokerage firm Redfin; we can expect the trend of people moving from big cities to continue. Over a third of respondents said they would consider relocating should remote working become permanent. Whether this means we will see property values continue to increase remains to be seen. However, we may say the trend of low supply reverse as restrictions are gradually lifted and the crisis come to an end.