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When Court Decisions Trickle Down to Housing Choices

Redfin reports that approximately one in seven people (15%) who recently moved said they would not live in a place where abortion is fully legal. That’s slightly higher than the share of respondents (12%) who said they would only live in a place where abortion is fully legal. Other respondents felt less strongly: 17% said they “prefer not to” live somewhere abortion is fully legal and 28% said they “prefer to” live in such a place.

Combined, 40% of respondents had a positive view on living in a place where abortion is fully legal, while 32% had a negative view. The data in the report is based on an August 2021 Redfin survey of 1,023 U.S. residents who moved to a new home during the 18 months prior to the survey.

“Before the pandemic, abortion was legal in every state—although, not necessarily accessible,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “Homebuyers were migrating across state lines before those state lines had such drastic repercussions. I believe that now movers are going to take the state laws in place more seriously. Affordability is always going to be the top concern for homebuyers, but I think moving from a place like Los Angeles to Austin will be a more difficult decision for some women.”

Texas, where most abortions were banned in 2021, has been a popular landing spot—especially for people coming from California. San Antonio and Dallas have all ranked among the top 10 migration destinations in recent months.

The legalization of marijuana was another topic that Redfin polled home buyers on, and found that nearly half (46%) of respondents had a positive view on living in a place where marijuana is legal, while 22% had a negative view. As of September 2021, 18 states and Washington, D.C. had legalized recreational marijuana use for adults over 21.

Nearly half (46%) of respondents had a positive view on living in a place where marijuana is legal, while 22% had a negative view.

In Q1 of 2021, leaders in at least 25 states introduced more anti-trans bills than the total number introduced during all of last year. President Biden last week urged state lawmakers to defeat anti-LGBTQ bills and Congress to pass the Equality Act, which would outlaw discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. Redfin’s poll found that 49% of respondents had a positive view on living somewhere with broad anti-discrimination laws related to gender/sexual orientation. By comparison, 23% had a negative view.

When asked to “Rank your willingness to live in a place with strong protections of voting rights and/or easy to vote by mail,” Redfin concluded that 55% of respondents had a positive view on living in a place with strong protections of voting rights and/or easy vote-by-mail, while 16% shared they had a negative view.

About Author: Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 20-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, he most recently served as Editor-in-Chief for The Mortgage Press and National Mortgage Professional Magazine. Peck graduated from the New York Institute of Technology where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.
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