Bucking typical trends, Americans buying new houses are moving further away from their previous homes.
- Typically, Americans only move about 15 miles when looking for a new home, but that trend has been changing.
- Americans, on average, are now moving around 50 miles away when purchasing a new home and even farther if they are a repeat buyer.
- The pandemic and remote work opportunities prompted many home buyers to move closer to family or to lower cost-of-living areas.
Why it’s news
The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently released their Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers and found some of the biggest shifts in purchasing preferences in U.S. real estate history.
The real estate research company found that as many as 13% of buyers were looking to move closer to loved ones. Only 5% said the same in 2010.
Around 26% of home buyers were first-time buyers, the lowest percentage since NAR began collecting data. First-time buyers were around 36 years-old while repeat buyers were about 59. Both categories rose in age.
First-time buyers were more likely to stay closer to home, but repeat buyers were willing to move greater distances. If first-time buyers are not factored into the data, the median distance moved is around 90 miles.
Another change in recent years has been the location of home purchases. Buyers are moving out of the city and favoring more rural communities. Homes in or near the city only made up about half of homes purchased this year. Typically, these homes make up 65% of the market.
Small towns saw the largest influx of buyers, jumping to 29% of purchases. As a result, home prices in small towns have risen, affecting long-time small-town residents’ ability to buy.
Whether or not the trend of moving out of the cities will continue is yet to be seen. While suburbs and small towns may have lower costs than the city, buyers trade in city amenities.