We’ve had an ongoing discussion in these pages about how remote work, brought about by the coronavirus, is changing our lives. Now there’s a new study that shows most folks in the market for a new home – 63% – say their motivation is due to the belief that their remote work will be permanent post-pandemic.
Realtor.com & HarrisX surveyed 2,000 home shoppers in June who said they plan to buy a new home within the next year. And 40% planned to purchase a home within the next four to six months. 13% of those surveyed said they became interested in the purchase of a new home solely due to the impact of COVID-19.
A senior economist at realtor.com, George Ratiu reports that “the ability to work remotely is expanding home shoppers’ geographic options and driving their motivation to buy, even if it means a longer commute, at least in the short term. Although it’s too early to tell what long-term impact the COVID-era of remote work will have on housing, it’s clear that the pandemic is shaping how people live and work under the same roof.”
Another tidbit from the study: Given the choice of working remotely or in an office, 52% of remote workers prefer to work from home – but four out of 10 (39%) prefer an office and 9% say it makes no difference.
Miami-Dade County residents who like working from home may soon have government-backed research to support their desire to continue doing so. The county’s Transportation Planning Organization (TPO) has ordered a $90,000 study in what promises to be the most comprehensive study to date of telecommuting as a congestion-reducing strategy for South Florida. The study will provide advantages and disadvantages to telecommuting and remote learning on employment, the environment, and infrastructure. Once concluded, this study may produce results with wide-ranging governmental and business oriented policy changes for the Sunshine State.
Ultimately, the total impact of the Covid-19 pandemic will not be known for years to come, but if we choose to adapt and overcome the lifestyle changes already taking place, we may find that the lessons learned here can lead us into a brighter, more fulfilling, and more productive future.