10% of Home Sellers Point to In-Office Policies, Survey Says

(Image courtesy Redfin)

A recent survey from Redfin, Seattle, found that 10.1% of respondents who report being likely to sell a home and move over the next year are being propelled by return-to-office policies.

A Boise, Idaho-based Redfin Premier Real Estate Agent named Shauna Pendleton gave the example of a couple whose Seattle-based company is requiring them to move back.

“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.”

There were other–more expected–factors driving respondents’ motivation to sell and move. The No. 1 answer, at 33.8% was “want more space” followed by “to be with or nearer to family” at 22.6%, “for a lower overall cost of living” at 21.6% and “to get a better deal on a home” at 20.5%.

Almost one in five (19.3%) want to move to “live in an area better aligned with my views on social issues.” And 17.9% responded that they’re concerned about safety and crime. More than one in 10 (10.6%) reported experiencing discrimination in their previous neighborhood.

“Real estate is all about priorities and compromise,” said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. “While a lot of homeowners are staying put, refusing to give up their rock-bottom mortgage rates, some are opting to trade their low rate for a safer neighborhood, lower taxes and/or neighbors with the same political views.”

The Redfin-commissioned survey was conducted by Qualtrics in May and June 2023. The survey was fielded to 5,079 U.S. residents, and 616 respondents indicated that they’re likely to sell a home and move in the next year.