The pandemic forced many major office-using corporations to allow their employees to work from home. Many used that freedom to move to a new town altogether. Now, many of those corporations have reversed course and are instituting return-to-work policies that bring workers back to the office at least a few days a week. The enforcement of rules requiring workers to spend a certain amount of time in the office is now having an impact on the residential housing market. According to a Redfin survey, a notable 10.1 percent of home sellers in the United States are motivated to sell their homes due to return-to-work policies. Redfin commissioned Qualtrics to orchestrate the survey of more than 5,000 residents who plan to sell their abode and relocate within the next year.
Remote workers who left the cities where their companies are located are having to return. This means returning to metros where the housing market has fewer options and perhaps higher price tags than when they left, and they will certainly be buying during a time when interest rates are substantially higher. Many workers, like the 10 percent of the survey respondents motivated (or forced) to move due to a change in status from permanent remote worker to hybrid schedule worker, may find that renting a multifamily residence is more practical than buying again. This data is also a good sign for the health of the office. A short year ago, everyone was talking about how workers would quit if they were forced to return to the office. Now, we are seeing people sell their homes just to prevent losing their jobs. How times have changed.