As more work is done remotely, some Americans are deciding to make an early move to their retirement locale. Many employers are offering employees the option to work from home for the rest of the year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and some have adopted remote work as a permanent option. Freed from the bounds of a commute, many older Americans are deciding to move now.
“The pandemic was unexpected, working from home was unexpected, but nonetheless many companies realized that workers can be just as productive working from home,” Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of REALTORS®, told CNBC. “We may begin to see a boost in people buying retirement homes before their retirement.”
Demand is rising in vacation resort areas, Yun told CNBC. Also, retirees are increasingly targeting states with warmer weather, such as Arizona, Nevada, and Texas, Yun says.
A Transamerica retirement survey released in September showed that 38% of those who entered retirement chose to move to a new home. Retirees cited proximity to family and friends, affordable cost of living, and access to excellent health care and hospitals in supporting their decision of where to relocate.
Housing affordability may be a chief motivator in deciding to move sooner, Yun says. Residents in pricey areas along the coasts may find larger homes at more affordable prices elsewhere.
Some workers may also be worried that home prices will continue to rise. NAR reported Tuesday that existing-home prices surged 11.4% in August compared to a year ago and are now at a nationwide median of $310,600.
“It seems like demand will remain solid for the upcoming years because the Fed has clearly made its intentions known that we will have a low-interest-rate environment,” Yun told CNBC. The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.01% on Sept. 21, according to Bankrate.
NAR released a study earlier this month that showed the best places to work remotely. Forsyth County, Ga., and Douglas County, Ohio, topped the list. View the full list.
Source: “With Remote Work Flexibility, Some People Opt to Relocate Ahead of Their Retirement,” CNBC (Sept. 21, 2020)