11% of Americans moved during the past year despite a fiercely competitive housing market

Many families say despite the stressors of moving during a pandemic, they're happy they did.

mom and child in moving van

The pandemic has undoubtedly altered the lives of people all over the world. In the U.S., it was the motive behind more than 1 in 10 Americans choosing to move during the past year. According to Zillow's 2021 Mover Report, millions more families and households will likely move this year, too.

The report, titled "The Great Reshuffling," states that many people wanted to move during the pandemic after being isolated at home for an extended period of time. Many others moved because they had to, due to changes in employment and financial status.

For 75% of those who moved, Zillow says they chose to live closer to family and friends. And with so many parents now working from home, it makes sense that a lot of them felt like their home/office combo wasn't exactly working out for the whole family.


If you're in the market for a new home, you're likely aware that the current housing market is fiercely competitive. Spring is typically the busiest time in real estate, but CNBC is reporting there are 20% fewer homes on the market this year compared to last spring. There are also almost twice the amount of working real estate agents than available listings.

Selling a home is easier than it's been in a long time, but buying a home, which is stressful at any given time, is particularly frustrating for families across the country right now. In many markets, home offers are being accepted at tens of thousands of dollars over the initial asking price. So. Stressful.

For many major American cities, 2020 meant a lot of outbound moves. Many households left New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago last year. Austin and Phoenix, however, are a different story—it seems a lot of people are looking to relocate to the Sun Belt. (Hey, who can blame them?)

FEATURED VIDEO

"The pandemic brought an acceleration of trends we were seeing in 2018 and 2019," says Zillow senior economist Jeff Tucker. "More affordable, medium-sized metro areas across the Sun Belt saw significantly more people coming than going, especially from more expensive, larger cities farther north and on the coasts. The pandemic has catalyzed purchases by millennial first-time buyers, many of whom can now work from anywhere."

For those who were able to purchase a home during the last year and relocate, 80% of movers say it was worth it. According to Zillow's data, a majority of people polled said moving was a positive life event for their family. Darren and Yolande Rollinson of Dallas, Texas, told Zillow that when they moved, their kids are the ones who loved the experience most. The family had been living in their self-described "starter home" for 24 years and needed more space, but they had put off a move because of, well, life. (Raise your hand if you're a parent and you can very much relate to the Rollinsons.)

"The future for us is growth," said Darren Rollinson. "Now we believe we can do anything. We know we've made an achievement. We can keep on growing and take bigger steps."

In This Article