A U.S. map and a house on top of a pile of money
Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News; Shutterstock

Twice as many sellers are looking to relocate in 2024 

A Coldwell Banker survey found a big increase in the number of sellers willing to move to another city or state as price considerations now outweigh location.

March 13, 2024
3 minutes

Key points:

  • Those who plan to move to a new city after selling their home jumped from 19% in 2022 to 39% at the end of 2023.
  • The flexibility of work-from-home options appears to have more people searching outside the area for the dream home.
  • More consumers now cite price as a key factor in their purchase decision, with location being secondary — especially for women.

When sellers are ready to put their home on the market, more are planning to leave town altogether.

That's one of the findings from a recent consumer survey from Coldwell Banker, which asked more than 4,000 people about their home preferences, attitudes about the real estate market and other trends. 

Among the respondents who planned to sell their home in the near future, 39% said they intended to move to another city, up from 19% in 2022.

The survey, which was completed in December 2023, also found that 24% of those would-be sellers intend to move to another state, while 3% plan to move to another country. The biggest one-year change came in the "not at all sure" category, which dropped from 26% at the end of 2022 to 3% at the end of 2023.

Jason Waugh, president of Coldwell Banker Affiliates, was somewhat surprised by the big jump in the number of home sellers wanting to move to another city, but pointed to several factors that could be in play, including affordability and flexibility due to remote work. Consumers' increased optimism about the real estate landscape at the time the survey was taken may have also played a role in the shift.

"Consumers are getting curious about what's out there, and perhaps those consumers who were directly impacted by rising home prices are looking elsewhere," Waugh said in an email.

Work-from-home still a factor

Even as many employers have called their employees back to the office, remote work remains a viable — and desirable — option for many people. A recent study posted on the WFH Research Project website found that the distance from worker homes to employer locations increased from 10 miles in 2019 to 27 miles in 2023.

The research also found the share of employees living more than 50 miles away from work rose from 1% to 5% over the same period.

Coldwell Banker's survey found that of those who purchased a home last year, 31% did so because they found their dream home, the most popular choice made in the survey ahead of lifestyle (29%), family expansion (28%) or investment (28%). That suggests buyers weren't as constrained by work in finding a dream home.

Price trumps location, and social media plays a role

A willingness to move appears to have influenced other parts of Coldwell Bankers' survey. A home's price was ranked as more important than its location, especially among women respondents.

The survey also found that 43% of consumers have been somewhat or highly influenced by social media in purchasing a particular type of home. Younger homebuyers (18-24) are more likely to be influenced by TikTok, while older homebuyers (over 55) are more influenced by Facebook.

Ranch style homes were most often listed as a dream home (13%), followed by modern contemporary (11%). But buyers didn't appear to have a strong preference: "No particular style" was the most common response, at 16%.

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