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Home offices and migrations out of urban centers have been trending amid the pandemic as homebuyers look for more space, no longer tied down by commuting constraints. Is this trend here to stay? Realtor.com® recently analyzed the decisions homeowners will make as offices begin to reopen.

According to the survey, 60% of new homeowners who purchased in the last 12 months are working from home—and 62% prefer it that way. However, only 48% have employers who have given the green light to continue working remotely. One quarter of respondents don’t yet know whether or not they can remain remote, and another quarter already has plans to return.

“Throughout the last year we have seen homebuyers across the country, empowered by the newfound ability to work remotely, moving farther and farther from crowded urban downtowns in search of more space, higher quality of life and a lower cost of living,” said George Ratiu, senior economist for realtor.com® “Our survey data shows that people are really enjoying their new communities and larger homes, and aren’t willing to give them up anytime soon. Looking forward, if companies return to more conservative policies on working from home, we could see an influx of new homeowners in the job market. For companies willing to stay more flexible with either hybrid or entirely remote opportunities, there is a large cohort of young professionals with growing families who value homeownership and affordability and welcome the benefits of a technologically-enhanced employment landscape.”

Do employers have anything to worry about? The survey says yes. While 48% of respondents said they will try to figure out a hybrid schedule with their employer if asked to come back to the office, nearly a quarter said they will find a new job. Only 30% of respondents said they would willingly return to the office if asked.

Commuting distances have a lot to do with it. According to the report, 18% of new homeowners would have to commute more than 60 minutes each way if they went back to traditional office space.

Liz Dominguez is RISMedia’s senior online editor. Email her your real estate news ideas to
lizd@rismedia.com.

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