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Will COVID-19 Cause a Move to the Suburbs?

Analysis by Zillow suggests where homeowners choose to live could be changed due to COVID-19.

With more than half of working Americans (56%) being given the opportunity to work from home, 75% said they would like to continue doing so once the pandemic has passed, or continue to do so for at least half of the time.

Also, 66% of those working from home would be likely to consider moving if they had the flexibility to work from home as often as they want. Just 24% of working Americans say they thought about moving as a result of spending more time at home due to social distancing recommendations.

"Moving away from the central core has traditionally offered affordability at the cost of your time and gas money. Relaxing those costs by working remotely could mean more households choose those larger homes farther out, easing price pressure on urban and inner suburban areas," said Zillow Senior Principal Economist, Skylar Olsen. "However, that means they'd also be moving farther from a wider variety of restaurants, shops, yoga studios, and art galleries. Given the value many places on access to such amenities, we're not talking about the rise of the rural homesteader on a large scale. Future growth under broader remote work would still favor suburban communities or secondary cities that offer those amenities along with more spacious homes and larger lots."

The Pew Research Center found prior to COVID-19, just 7% of civilian workers in the U.S. had the option to work from, although 40% worked in jobs that could be performed remotely.

Zillow also found more consumers are looking at their housing options. In mid-April, page views of for-sale listings on Zillow were 18% higher than in 2019.

Information by Zillow says among employees who would be likely to consider moving if, given the ability to work from home, nearly one-third said they would consider moving in order to live in a home with dedicated office space (31%), to live in a larger home (30%), and to live in a home with more rooms (29%).

About Author: Mike Albanese

A graduate of the University of Alabama, Mike Albanese has worked for news publications since 2011 in Texas and Colorado. He has built a portfolio of more than 1,000 articles, covering city government, police and crime, business, sports, and is experienced in crafting engaging features and enterprise pieces. He spent time as the sports editor for the "Pilot Point Post-Signal," and has covered the DFW Metroplex for several years. He has also assisted with sports coverage and editing duties with the "Dallas Morning News" and "Denton Record-Chronicle" over the past several years.
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