The Covid Relocation: Why is Everyone Moving House?

packed boxes in a home

The beginning of the pandemic saw lockdowns in many areas, which caused large numbers of people to permanently relocate from those areas. This is mainly because of the social-economic impact of Covid-19. While the increased rate of home movers has not been as typical as in the early years, this is the new normal.

The pandemic came to characterize the new normal for most American households. And it has become evident that more than 1 out of 5 Americans plan to move or know someone who already has. People have been relocating to downsize their houses, start small businesses, change careers, and many other reasons.

Keep reading to learn more about the COVID relocation and why is everyone moving house.

Why is Everyone Moving House?

packed moving boxes labeled living room

The Covid-19 pandemic caused a higher relocation rate between 2020 and 2022. Because the pandemic came with a lot of uncertainties, people were forced to make abrupt decisions in order to adjust to suitable lifestyles.

Homeowners decided to move to escape the threat of losing their lives. They also strategically decided to settle in places where life would be sustainable in case the pandemic showed no sign of easing up.

Major cities where congestion was the order of the day were being deserted to reduce the high rates at which the virus was spreading. In addition, the long-term impact of the pandemic movement will depend largely on how long people can work from home.

Countless homeowners decided to sell their houses and move because of COVID. Real estate sales continued to happen, even as real estate values soared. Buyers couldn’t get enough of the houses that were getting listed on the market. Many buyers saw this time as an opportunity to purchase property as an investment.

Interest rates were also extremely low, which made money cheap and buying enticing. People jumped into real estate investing to capitalize on the low interest rates. This enabled homeowners to sell houses quickly and relocate to new states.

While people moved for various reasons, below are some of the common causes for relocation to answer the question, “Why is everyone moving?”.

1. High Cost of Living

Ultimately, the majority of people (an estimated 47%) planned to move in 2022 to lower their cost of living. The cost of living has been at its all-time high and has become unbearable for most households (source). A more sustainable solution is what several individuals were looking for when moving house.

To be able to stretch out the household’s income, people opt to relocate to affordable housing. This helps in the allocation of finances to other domestic needs, like food, education, and payment of utility bills.

Moving can be a stressful endeavor if you do not take the time to plan properly.  Commonly overlooked aspects of moving often include the price of boxes, packing materials, and the time required to pack, which is why it’s important to avoid surprises by using a moving expenses calculator when planning a move.

2. Proximity to Family

a family with parents, kids, and grandparents laughing on the couch

During and after the pandemic, most people embraced the idea of being close to their family members. Their reason to move was so that they could be both physically and emotionally present for their loved ones.

This is evident in almost 30% of the moves done by households. Some people moved back into their parent’s houses. This type of move helped most people primarily with the financial offload. With a household of more than two income earners, it becomes easier to cost share some of the bills.

3. Change of Mind

Several households were in a rush to move to escape from the side effects of the pandemic. Some movers are already showing buyer’s remorse, with nearly two-thirds of millennials regretting buying their current homes. They are among the many individuals contemplating if a move back to the city is the best option.

They had little to no time to settle for the best home or their dream home arrangements, hence the feeling of dissatisfaction once the tight grip of the pandemic started loosening. The current situation is that various households that had moved during the peak of the pandemic are still trying to relocate to a new area. Lack of proper research could also play a part in the ultimate feeling of dissatisfaction.

4. Improved Work Flexibility

a woman working on a laptop at a desk

With the incorporation of apps such as zoom and other digital features, it proved that working remotely was something feasible. Many organizations eased up on restrictions that had their employees reporting to physical addresses daily.

Currently, the job market has seen an increase in flexibility in where people can work. Many employees are now free to work from wherever as long as productivity remains at an all-time high. This includes in the office, from a co-working space, in different states, or even abroad – depending on the employer.

5. The Job Market

Before the pandemic, several cities had a high rate of movers settling within their borders in search of job opportunities. This is still evident during and after Covid 19. The labor market is still growing from the number of graduates entering the job market.

This translates to more people moving across the United States in search of suitable job placements. Commercial transportation and commercial driving in general have been largely impacted by this relocation. This is due to it becoming much more competitive in relocation hot spots.

6. Quality of Life

millennial roommates eating in a rental apartment kitchen

Everyone seeks to get the best out of life, even if it means sacrificing the comfort of the urban area and opting for a simplistic appeal of the rural setup. Urban areas have been experiencing a major move, especially from the young inhabitants.

Many millennials are ditching the congestion of big cities for small towns that host a population of a few hundred people. Millennials are a big driver of this movement as they get older and prepare to settle down.

Where are People Moving to?

a moving van full of boxes outside a property

During the pandemic, there have been more reasons for people to move to new locations. From research done during the pandemic, virus particles dissolve more quickly outside than they do indoors. Therefore, states with warm temperatures and a lot of outdoor activities have become great destinations for many.

For instance, while a place like Florida has always been a hotspot for new movers, the number of move-ins has continued to rise even during the pandemic. As Florida has one of the best climates in the country, the influx of movers to the state has equally been a result of high-quality life, infrastructure, and great schools. Companies like Yellow Eagle and Chance Realty have seen a record number of long-distance movers from all over the country coming down to South Florida.

Arizona is another common state people have been moving to. In addition to having a great outdoor climate Phoenix, Arizona has a gradual growth that accounts for the housing affordability. The southwestern city has a lucrative job market that provides lots of chances in healthcare and banking. 

High-cost coastal cities have been losing more people to suburbs than smaller cities since about 2016. The pandemic turbocharged that trend. The biggest losers were New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Washington D.C., – which were all major cities that had to shut down bars and other recreational facilities. The pandemic wasn’t the only thing driving the movement in 2020, immigration rates dropped across the country mostly affecting major cities.

Before the pandemic, it was already common to see people move from places like the Bay Area in California to San Diego. Now they’re moving in droves out of major cities like San Francisco to places that feel less crowded. Philadelphia was also hit fairly hard.

There is a lot of love for Texas from its locals and apparently, a lot of other people do too. This state is among several of the best places to move to in the nation. The state not only offers large tracts of land that mimic the free and flowing nature of a reserve it also has affordable housing as opposed to big cities.

A family of two can easily acquire a home half the price of most major cities. With the rising number of retirees, there is a need for them to settle in areas that have a slow pace.


From research and recent trends, it would appear that few people want to live in major cities anymore. If you plan to move out of Philadelphia and need to sell your house, contact us today to receive an offer. At Brotherly Love Real Estate, our team is here to help you sell your home and transition to the next step.

We buy houses fast for cash. With our team of experts, you can sell your house to us in as little as 21 days – with no closing costs. Learn more about selling a house to an investor and whether now is the right time to sell.