United States

Where are remote workers moving to? Wherever is affordable.

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Man and woman packing their possessions into cardboard boxes, getting ready to move

According to Fannie Mae’s monthly National Housing Survey, nearly a quarter of remote and hybrid workers are willing to move or endure longer commutes in pursuit of affordable housing – up 8% from the end of 2021.

Where are remote workers moving to? Since they have more mobility, many of them are settling in smaller suburban and rural areas with lower living costs and less competitive housing markets.

This is in line with the 36% of homeowners and renters who said "affordability" is now the determining factor when choosing a new place to call home, overtaking the long-standing leader since 2014, "neighborhood.”

Unsurprisingly, renters prioritize affordability even more than homeowners – the share of renters putting affordability first rose from 21% in 2014 to 46% in 2023.

Remote and hybrid workers are reshaping the rental housing landscape, and research says that property managers should accommodate their evolving needs.

These “market-oriented” property managers offer amenities such as flexible rent payment dates and integrated services. In return, tenants stay longer,  take better care of their rental units, and are more likely to pay rent on time.

Remote and hybrid workers also want amenities such as high-speed Internet and pet-friendly policies that facilitate their work arrangement, as well as a transparent fee structure – and above all, a competitive rental price that fits their budget.

Your ability to meet shifting market conditions could determine whether or not a remote or hybrid worker picks your property. Zumper’s latest National Rent Report found that rents are falling in areas popular with remote workers, as more are called back to the office full time. After the pandemic-era boom, property managers in these regions might have to compete harder to fill their units.

More tenant behavior headlines

Employers and workers face a reckoning over returning to the office – Insider

Where’s anywhere? Top 20 most popular cities for remote workers – Adobe

Renting to self-employed tenants – what property managers need to know – PayProp

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