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Return-to-Office Mandates See 1 in 10 Home Sellers Relocating

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Market Data + Trends

Return-to-Office Mandates See 1 in 10 Home Sellers Relocating

A growing number of homeowners are having to choose between selling their homes and relocating, or losing their jobs


September 13, 2023
Aerial view of houses outside of Chicago in leafy suburb
Image: trongnguyen / stock.adobe.com

A growing number of Americans are having to choose between selling their homes at a loss or risking losing their jobs. A recent survey commissioned by Redfin reveals that approximately 10.1% of U.S. home sellers are relocating due to employers' return-to-work policies. 

Other reasons cited for moving include safety concerns, aligning with social views, lower taxes, discrimination in their original neighborhoods, and climate change concerns. The desire for more space, proximity to family, and a lower cost of living are also driving factors for relocation, even as rising mortgage rates affect the housing market, Redfin reports.

While returning to the office wasn’t the most common reason respondents listed for moving, the response rate is notable because back-to-office mandates are an emerging cause of relocation. 

In Boise, ID, Redfin Premier real estate agent Shauna Pendleton has a pair of clients who are selling their home after only about a year because their Seattle-based employer is requiring them to return to the office. They will likely have to sell at a loss since they bought when home prices were near their peak.

“My sellers both work at the same company, which told them they have to be in the office three days a week or they’ll lose their jobs. They have six months to make the move,” Pendleton said. “They’ll probably have to take a $100,000 loss on their home. Their new house in Seattle won’t be anything close to the size of their property in Boise, and their mortgage rate will be much higher.”

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