Coronavirus has had both temporary and long-term effects on housing plans.

By Katie Holdefehr
June 19, 2020
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While it's undeniable that the coronavirus pandemic has affected the lives of most Americans over the past few months, a recent study shows one way COVID-19 is affecting long-term planning. According to a survey conducted by FinanceBuzz, 26 percent of Americans are actually considering moving permanently as a result of coronavirus. From home buying, to renting, to temporary moves back home with parents, here's a look at how the pandemic has influenced housing trends in the short and long term.

Potential Home Buyers and Renters Are Delaying Their Moves

According to a FinanceBuzz survey conducted on May 13, 2020, of 1,500 Americans ages 18 and older, three out of four prospective home buyers and renters decided to put off their intended moves between March and June 2020. So in the short term, coronavirus hampered plans for permanent moves. While 58 percent of those surveyed say they still intend to move at some point, 17 percent have canceled their moves entirely.

The most common reason for the postponed moves? Most cited the inability to tour new places in person and stay-at-home orders. Plus, 25 percent said they're waiting for the market to improve.

So how long will the home buying delays last? Over 60 percent of those surveyed reported that they wouldn't feel comfortable buying a new home until 2021.

Many Moved Back Home With Their Parents

According to those surveyed, 26 percent of Gen Zers and 9 percent of Millennials have temporarily moved back in with their parents during the pandemic. Especially as most colleges closed their campuses this spring, Gen Zers' moves back home come as no surprise. When surveyed in mid-May, more than 35 percent who had moved back home with their parents said they weren't certain when they would return to their primary residences.

26 Percent Are Considering a Permanent Move

As millions of Americans lost their jobs or were furloughed in the past few months, finances are one major factor influencing housing plans. Of the 26 percent who plan to move permanently, a "lower cost of living" (41 percent) and "to be in a less populated area" (29 percent) were the top two motivating factors. After months spent cooped up in city apartments, many urban dwellers want to relocate to the spacious and generally more affordable suburbs. Plus, as many companies transition to remote work, those who lived in cities for their jobs are now free to move without the lengthy commute.

As states across the country reopen, allowing for house tours, but with a coronavirus vaccine still many months away, planned moves to the suburbs may happen even sooner than expected.