Remote Workers Are Willing to Move to Get Affordable Homes
Photo by Ed Murray

Remote Workers Are Willing to Move to Get Affordable Homes

A growing share of people who have the option to work remotely are willing to relocate 20 minutes farther away, with affordability a primary motivator. The share rose from 14 percent in late 2021 to 22 percent in early 2023. That is among the findings of an analysis of Fannie Mae’s latest National Housing Survey of 3,000 mortgage holders, owners, and renters.

Housing affordability and neighborhood desirability are the top concerns among all homeowners and renters in choosing locations, with affordability becoming more important since 2014. Thirty-five percent of non-retired consumers expect to have some type of remote work by the end of 2023.

While people increasingly are willing to relocate, whether they can do so is hampered by a tight housing market. Based to a December 2023 Housing survey, Fannie Mae Chief Economist Doug Duncan says “even if mortgage rates decline over the next year, which we currently expect, it’s unlikely to meaningfully affect affordability. The lack of housing inventory is likely to remain a challenge for some time, and home purchase sentiment may continue to be suppressed as a result.”