Real Estate

Half of Younger Americans Would Take Pay Cuts for Cheaper Locations

A new survey from Coldwell Banker found that amid what it described as the “Great Resignation,” more than half of younger Americans would be willing to take a pay cut in order to relocate to a cheaper place.

The report, out Tuesday, gauges consumer sentiment about the housing industry in the U.S. Among other things, it found that 51 percent of Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 said they would be willing to take a reduction in pay, or accept a new job with a lower salary, in “order to move to a more affordable location.” Nearly as many people, or 47 percent, between the ages of 35 and 44 said the same thing.

Alternatively, only 32 percent of people between the ages of 45 and 54 would be willing to accept lower pay in exchange for a cheaper location. And just 27 percent between age 55 and 64 said the same.

In total, across all age groups, 41 percent of Americans would be willing to take pay cuts in order to move to a cheaper place.

The report ties these findings to the Great Resignation, a term that has come to mean an ongoing wave of workers leaving jobs as employers struggle to fill positions.

“Thanks to the ‘Great Resignation,’ the movement of people leaving the workforce during the pandemic, many Americans don’t feel tethered to just one place anymore,” the report notes, adding later that “this real estate renaissance means that real estate markets across the country are ramping up to welcome all kinds of new residents.”

The report also identified locations Americans would consider relocating to. Among men between the ages of 18 and 34, Miami was the most popular destination, with 31 percent of respondents choosing the Florida city. Austin was most popular among women in that age group, with 21 percent choosing the Texas capital.

Other popular relocation destinations included Portland, Oregon; Seattle Washington; and Atlanta, Georgia.

The report is based on a series of surveys the Harris Poll conducted for Coldwell Banker in October, June and February. The October survey included more than 2,000 adults, 1,307 of whom are homeowners. The June and February surveys polled more than 1,300 individuals each.

The report ultimately includes good news for real estate professionals: In February, nearly a quarter of the survey respondents expressed concerns about the homeselling process being intimidating, but by October only 16 percent felt the same way.

“The home selling process,” the report concludes, “is becoming less intimidating to homeowners.”

Email Jim Dalrymple II

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