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Personal Financial Pressure Behind Relocation Surge

Financial distress is becoming a bigger factor for Americans who are deciding to move. When the COVID-19 pandemic first began, Americans were mostly relocating due to fears of getting infected or moving back home due to closed colleges. But now, Americans are less likely to cite the risks of getting coronavirus and more likely to say they’re relocating due to financial stress, according to a new survey from the Pew Research Center.

Five percent of U.S. adults reported having to move temporarily or permanently due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the newly released survey, conducted in the latter half of November 2020. That percentage is up from 3% in June.

Young adults ages 18 to 29 are the most likely to have moved during the pandemic. More than one in 10 young adults have relocated to a new home. But in the most recent survey conducted in November, young adults didn’t say they were moving back due to college closings but mostly due to financial stress.

Further, lower-income households and minorities were more likely to have changed their address over the past year.

About 5% of adults nationwide reported in November that they had someone move in with them during the pandemic. The primary reason behind those co-living arrangements was due to financial pressures, according to the survey. But fewer people are living with family in November 2020 compared to June's survey of last year. The percentage dropped from 61% of movers living with family in June to 42% in November. “The large share who had adult children move into their households reflects a broader societal trend,” Pew noted in the report. A previous analysis found that a majority of young adults were living with their parents in July, representing the highest share since the Great Depression.

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Source: Realtor Magazine and “As the Pandemic Persisted, Financial Pressures Became a Bigger Factor in why Americans Decided to Move,” Pew Research Center (Feb. 4, 2021)

"Copyright NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. Reprinted with permission."

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