Clicking Heels Three Times: There’s No Place Like Home

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It was only a generation or so ago when baby boomers and even leading-edge millennials “flew the coop,” so to speak. They looked to careers and opportunities to take them far from home, and companies offered generous “relocation” packages, paying for every aspect of their moves.

Today’s young buyers, however, are prioritizing family and community ties when choosing where to plant roots, according to LendingTree’s study on a group of 2,000 people. “There’s no place like home—which is why most young adults are sticking close by when they move out on their own,” says RealtorMag’s Melissa Pittman Tracey. Sixty-two percent of young Americans live in or near their hometowns, according to a new survey from LendingTree. Reasons abound — from the extra layer of support they might receive, to affordability and high housing costs, to feeling obligated to be near family, convenience, the proximity of friends.

“The lockdowns during the pandemic probably brought many families closer together, as they were able to spend more time with one another than they otherwise could have,” says Jacob Channel, LendingTree’s senior economist. “Even if they lived elsewhere before, realizing how much they liked being near their family may have resulted in more people opting to move closer to their parents.”

Dittmann also noted that the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2023 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers showed that people of all ages have been moving shorter distances. In 2023, sellers moved a median distance of 20 miles to a new home, down from 50 miles the year prior, according to NAR’s survey. “Significantly fewer moves in 2023 involved crossing state lines than in 2022,” she says. “Further, the most commonly cited reason for selling a home in 2023 was the desire to move closer to family and friends (23%), the NAR survey shows.”

Help with child care is a big reason as well. As young adults start families of their own, they may want to live close to their parents for extra help. Nearly three-fourths of young parents with children under the age of 18 cite this as an important reason to live near family, according to the LendingTree survey. “Young families fortunate enough to get help from grandparents or extended family members can reallocate the savings to housing costs, paying debts and other expenses,” LendingTree researchers note.

Interestingly enough, there is also a gender difference noted in this study. Besides young families, men tend to favor living near their hometown more than women—64% versus 50%, respectively, the LendingTree survey finds. “Men also are more likely to live closer to their parents’ house. High-earning individuals—those with household incomes of $100,000 or more—also are more likely to say living near family is important.”

What about the rest of this demographic? Even many of those want to go home — or close to home. Tracey cites 47% of young Americans who live outside their hometown would consider moving back. “Gen Zers under the age of 26 are more likely to say they’ll return than millennials. Those who moved away say they originally did so to try something new, for a relationship, or to pursue economic and educational opportunities.”

RealtorMag,TBWS


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The Mortgage Whiz

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Brian Voytko

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Mortgage Advisor

NMLS: #437292

Cell: 215-407-3832


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