COVID-19 had a significant impact on moving trends in 2020, but how has 2021 handled things? According to the data, 2021 appears to be the year of unprecedented shifting trends. With an increase in remote work opportunities, rising rent rates, record-low mortgage rates, and a desire to leave densely populated states for a lower cost of living – a nationwide moving boom is underway.
- In 2021, more Americans are moving than in 2020.
More than 20% more Americans plan to relocate in 2021 than in 2020, according to the Census Bureau. Primarily to lower their cost of living or be closer to family. While the pandemic prompted a large number of people to relocate in 2020, the Neighbor 2020-2021 American Migration Report showed that 21% more people want to relocate in 2021 than in 2020.
The coming vs. going ratio of moves really stood out to others here. These imbalances persist in some countries, such as the United Kingdom and the United States, as (accelerating) trends in 2019-20 and 2020-21. Others, such as France and the United Arab Emirates, are much more closely aligned with the COVID-19 pandemic.
UK trends make sense in light of Brexit, a global pandemic, and government excitement to reduce net migration. According to the Office for National Statistics, a million people have moved out of the country in the last year, the largest fluctuation since World War II. London has been particularly hard hit, but more on that later.
- The number of people who own a home is increasing.
With more people moving in 2021, home ownership will increase by 11%. The year 2021 will see a large influx of first-time home buyers. According to a recent survey, 43 percent of movers owned a previous or current home, while more than 54 percent said they now own or will own their new home after moving. Rising rents appear to be motivating this increase in homeownership, while mortgage rates have fallen to an all-time low.
Furthermore, many prospective homebuyers are now shifting to self-sustaining gated communities where their entire family’s needs are adequately met. Generally, these self-sustaining housing societies provide companionship, a safe and secure environment, and amenities that reduce the need to venture out.
- The majority of people are motivated by remote work. Migration in the United States.
Between 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, the number of Canadians relocating to the United States increased from 885 to 1,989. That is the second-largest country-to-country jump in history, at 125 percent. At the same time, moves in the opposite direction have increased by 46%, from 302 to 446. Between 2019-20 and 2020-21, relocations to Canada from US cities more than doubled, with Los Angeles and New York leading the way with 116 and 110 moves, respectively. Because those two cities have the country’s largest Canadian expat populations, it stands to reason that the increase is due to them returning home during the pandemic. Overall, it appears that an ‘exchange’ is taking place.
The pandemic altered many aspects of American life, including how and where Americans work and why they relocate. Workers are no longer limited to living within a commutable distance of their employers, thanks to an increase in remote work opportunities. In 2021, one in every four Americans will be working remotely. And the work-from-home trend does not appear to be going away anytime soon.
The closed border has had a significant impact on the Canadian tourism industry as well. Around two-thirds of its foreign visitors are Americans, and they spend significantly more money than other nationalities. Despite this, the majority of Canadians prefer to keep their distance until COVID-19 is under control. With a hundred million more vaccinations, Americans may be able to resume their migration north.
- Impact of Auckland.
Between 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, the number of people moving to New Zealand’s most populous city, Auckland, increased by 75%, from 137 to 240. Relocations from London, Melbourne, and Sydney jumped into our top 25 inter-city routes after barely appearing the previous year.
The performance of New Zealand in comparison to the rest of the Western world has also led to an increase in people fantasizing about relocating there. Since the beginning of 2020, the most popular search query has been ‘Moving to New Zealand,’ followed by ‘How to Move to New Zealand’ and ‘Living in New Zealand.’
These inquiries did not result in many moves. Many people are interested in moving to New Zealand, but with the country closed to non-residents for over a year, that interest is limited.
Clearly, the moving trends for 2021 are unlike anything you’ve seen before. Moving is the most cost-effective life event, with movers spending more in the first six months than the average consumer does in three years. But, with proper transportation, the chat is moving quickly, and everything will be on the list?
Simply contact us and come see yourself.