Key Highlights

  • Zillow researchers indicating that 2.5M to enter housing market in 2021
  • Zillow calling this moving trend the Great Reshuffling

More Americans Could Move in 2021

The year of 2020 marked many firsts:  a global pandemic, a global lockdown, massive job losses, massive shifts to remote working, and massive migrations from urban centers to “second cities.”  A major bottom line for these firsts…1 in 10 Americans moved.

As the pandemic lifts and the economy recovers, Zillow researchers are predicting that even more than the 1 in 10 Americans who moved in 2020 will enter the housing market this year

Newly Untethered Workers Moving for “Positive” Reason

In its latest research survey on moving Americans, Zillow indicated that 75% of survey participants moved for “positive” reasons.  Being untethered by remote working situations has allowed movers to live where they want to live rather than where they have to live because of employment.  An internet connection has been the only requirement.

Some of these “positive” reasons include being closer to family and friends, affordability and access to more space

“Second Cities” Big Beneficiarie

Massive out-migration from large, crowded, expensive urban centers has benefited smaller, less densely populated, more affordable “second cities” such as Portland MN, Bay City MI, Pueblo CO and multiple zip codes in Idaho.

There has also been an uptick in movers to the South and the Sun Belt.  Phoenix AZ, Charlotte NC and Austin TX have been magnets for people choosing more affordability, medium-sized metros and more living space.

Moving Has Made Movers “Happier”

According to Zillow’s surveyed research on movers, nearly 80% of survey participants indicated that their move was “the correct decision.”   60% said that their moving has led to positive life events and experiences; 54% indicated they were happier; and 53% of surveyed participants reported that they were relieved to have moved.

Amazing what a larger home, cheaper mortgage, and new experiences in a new city/state can do for people, right?

Specifics of Zillow’s Moving Projections for 2021

Zillow, as a result of this research, is predicting that approximately 2.5M new households will be entering the 2021 housing market.

It seems that the stars are in alignment for people to move and then live where they want to be.

  • Millennials, largest home buying demographic in the country, are approaching the optimum home buying age of 32.
  • Remote working is here to stay for a vast share of the job market.
  • The economy and jobs market are recovering faster than anticipated.
  • Technology is enabling virtual home tours, digital floor plans, appraisals, closings and underwriting.
  • Affordability is more available, relatively, in second cities.
  • Pandemic-inspired “meaning of life” and “life style” values are in a process of realignment.


Thanks to HousingWire and Zillow.

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