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One Quarter Of The Population Intends To Move House Imminently, But Why?

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As the US housing market hits its highest rate of growth ever recorded (15.7% in some areas), predictions revolve around a significant market shift in not only new home buying, but also the intention of potential buyers as we move into a ‘real’ new normal marked by notable lifestyle and spending changes. 

A recent Knight Frank Global Buyer Survey especially found that as many as one-quarter of people intend to move house imminently. In North America, 25% of respondents had already moved since the pandemic began, while one in four people generally are looking to move in the next 12 months. 

In reality, there are countless reasons why pandemic life and its aftermath have facilitated a housing market boom that puts initial predictions of price decreases to shame. Even as the latest figures prove that the housing boom may be slowing or ending altogether, the money that most of us saved during lockdowns, alone, has played a huge part in driving these life-changing decisions. Here, we consider what else has seen so many of us at least considering a home move.

# 1 – Price spikes

Most obviously, house prices that have increased in record time have sparked the idea of selling and buying property for many homeowners already on the ladder. In fact, according to the head of international residential research for Frank Knight, Kate Everett-Allen, as many as two-thirds of people expect home value increases in the next year, even across a slowing market. This is hardly surprising given that average prices across the country rose from $389,400 in 2020 to a staggering $408,800 in 2021. Predictions that these speedy increases could soon tip the scales for something of a different housing picture in as little as a few years are especially providing an incentive to act fast, and secure a fixed rate on a previously out of reach property before the opportunity passes.

# 2 – The tides of change

Changing priorities have been a theme of the pandemic, and are certainly a consideration that features in the lifestyle, and housing changes that many of us are now making or planning. Market trends, in general, especially point to something of a city exodus that sees far higher rates of removal across dense inner-city areas, largely as a result of remote work. That said, this trend isn’t necessarily reflective of housing desires overall, with an inability to see friends or attend work during the height of the pandemic also driving as many as 38% of buyers to seek city residence over just 33% buying in the suburbs. Whatever way this dice rolls one thing remains – our shifting lifestyles and needs are certainly playing a driving force in the quest for properties that are a better fit for our personal new normals. 

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# 3 – Second-home demand

An increase in expendable savings after a year of spending nothing, as well as a desire to have an escape when traditional escape routes are blocked, has also seen a second home sales boom. In some cases, this is driven by expats looking to secure a base back home in case of any potential further lockdowns, whether that by in the form of a holiday home (purchased by as many as 16% of people,) or even apartments for rent in a prime location where buying isn’t an option. In fact, as many as 33% of buyers now report considering a second home of some kind, with 23% confirming that the pandemic has had a significant impact on where and why they’re looking to extend their housing reach. 

# 4 – No place like home

On a far more simplistic level, the desire to move either during or after the pandemic has also been largely fuelled by the fact that we’ve all been spending far more time at home. Individuals living in cramped rentals or make-do properties have especially been driven to seek more spacious, homely accommodations that they’re happy to work, live, and play in. Even as the pandemic gradually recedes from public consciousness, ongoing remote working arrangements mean that, from renting a larger apartment through to finally buying a ‘forever home’, we’re all that bit more incentivized to get our property portfolios in order at last.

Whether you’re planning to jump on the home buying trend while the pandemic is still rife, or would prefer to wait a few months for things to calm down, you certainly aren’t alone in thinking that now is prime time for a house move.


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