U.S. Markets close in 57 mins
  • S&P 500

    3,857.26
    +1.90 (+0.05%)
     
  • Dow 30

    30,994.34
    +34.34 (+0.11%)
     
  • Nasdaq

    13,647.69
    +11.70 (+0.09%)
     
  • Russell 2000

    2,159.01
    -4.27 (-0.20%)
     
  • Crude Oil

    52.55
    -0.22 (-0.42%)
     
  • Gold

    1,849.90
    -5.30 (-0.29%)
     
  • Silver

    25.49
    +0.00 (+0.00%)
     
  • EUR/USD

    1.2170
    +0.0025 (+0.2069%)
     
  • 10-Yr Bond

    1.0400
    0.0000 (0.00%)
     
  • Vix

    23.14
    -0.05 (-0.22%)
     
  • GBP/USD

    1.3737
    +0.0062 (+0.4506%)
     
  • USD/JPY

    103.6390
    -0.1170 (-0.1128%)
     
  • BTC-USD

    32,239.07
    -1,420.99 (-4.22%)
     
  • CMC Crypto 200

    651.49
    +4.16 (+0.64%)
     
  • FTSE 100

    6,654.01
    +15.16 (+0.23%)
     
  • Nikkei 225

    28,546.18
    -276.11 (-0.96%)
     

Homeowners aren't fleeing cities in droves despite COVID-19

Jessica Menton, USA TODAY
·4 min read

The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed some Americans to flee major cities like New York and San Francisco for less expensive towns. But droves of people may not be leaving cities in other parts of the country, a new study shows.

While a slightly larger percentage of homeowners from big cities have moved to towns in 2020 compared with last year, the share of movers has remained largely the same in the past two years, according to a new report from LendingTree, which matches mortgage shoppers with lenders.

LendingTree looked at the share of homeowners who lived in one of the nation’s 50 largest cities and moved to a new home in one of the country’s towns. In 2020, an average of 2.2% of homeowners who moved had relocated to a town, up slightly from 1.9% last year.

COVID-19 relief package: $600 stimulus checks, $300 bonus for federal unemployment benefits in new deal

Americans still face lapse in aid: Unemployment benefits could be delayed for millions even with COVID-19 relief package

Few homeowners relocated out of the city they previously lived in. An average of 97.5% of homeowners who lived in one of the nation’s 50 largest cities and moved either relocated to a different home within that city or moved to a different city altogether. Of that number, an average of 84.1% stayed in the same city, while 15.9% left for another city.

“While the data indicates that most homeowners aren’t moving in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly half of Americans report that they’re considering a move to help lower their housing costs,” Tendayi Kapfidze, chief economist at LendingTree, said in a note. “And, with similar numbers reporting that they’re able to work remotely, moving out of a city to a cheaper town might be a good idea.”

Historically low interest rates could make buying a home outside of a city more feasible than in recent years. But there are potential drawbacks that people should consider before moving to a town.

Even though many Americans are currently working from home, it’s not guaranteed that their remote working arrangements will be permanent, Kapfidze explained. Low housing inventories might make finding a new home more difficult in some parts of the country, and home prices in towns can sometimes be just as costly as they are in cities, he added.

Here's a breakdown of cities that saw the most and least migration to towns in 2020:

Cities with the most migration to towns

No. 1: Cleveland

  • The share of moving homeowners who migrated to a town in 2020 was 4.85%, up from 3.99% in 2019.

  • Most popular town for moving Cleveland homeowners in 2020: Van Wert, Ohio

  • Share of moving homeowners who relocated to Van Wert in 2020: 18.2%

No. 2: Minneapolis

  • The share of homeowners who migrated to a town in 2020: 4.3%, falling slightly to 4.4% from the year before but it was higher than other cities.

  • Most popular town for moving Minneapolis homeowners to migrate to in 2020: Winona, Minnesota.

  • Share of moving homeowners who relocated to Winona in 2020: 29.8%

No. 3: Nashville, Tennessee

  • The share of moving homeowners who migrated to a town in 2020 was 3.6%, up from 3.4% in 2019.

  • Most popular town for moving Nashville homeowners to migrate to in 2020: Tullahoma-Manchester, Tennessee.

  • Share of moving homeowners who relocated to Tullahoma-Manchester in 2020: 14.98%

Metros with the least migration to towns in 2020

No. 1: Philadelphia

  • The share of homeowners who migrated to a town in 2020 was 0.8%, little changed from 0.7% in 2019.

  • Most popular town for moving Philadelphia homeowners to migrate to in 2020: Pottsville, Pennsylvania.

  • Share of moving homeowners who relocated to Pottsville in 2020: 11.2%

No. 2: Tampa, Florida

  • The share of homeowners who migrated to a town in 2020 was 0.94%, virtually unchanged from 0.91% in 2019.

  • Most popular town for moving Tampa homeowners to migrate to in 2020: Key West, Florida.

  • Share of moving homeowners who relocated to Key West in 2020: 5%

No. 3: Orlando, Florida

  • Share of homeowners who migrated to a town in 2020 was 0.96%, compared with 0.99% in 2019.

  • Most popular town for moving Orlando homeowners to migrate to in 2020: Richmond-Berea, Kentucky.

  • Share of moving homeowners who relocated to Richmond-Berea in 2020: 12.1%

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Homes for sale: Homeowners aren't fleeing cities in droves after COVID