Housing costs have surged to levels not seen in approximately four decades. However, the affordability of purchasing or renting a home may be even more challenging today if not for the ongoing influence of remote and hybrid work arrangements stemming from the pandemic, as highlighted in a recent Fannie Mae study.
The research, conducted as an analysis of Fannie Mae’s monthly National Housing Survey, involved surveying over 3,000 mortgage holders, homeowners, and renters from January to March of the current year.
This examination explored the evolution of remote and hybrid work arrangements over recent years and assessed their effects on the housing landscape.
The report indicates a notable shift in people’s willingness to relocate to more affordable areas further from city centers compared to a few years ago. The study attributes this trend to the sustained prevalence of remote and hybrid work, which has remained largely unchanged over the past two years.
This flexibility is enabling individuals to gravitate toward more cost-effective housing options.
Furthermore, the report underscores that “affordability” has emerged as the paramount consideration for both renters and homeowners when selecting a place to reside.
In the year’s initial months, 22% of remote and hybrid workers expressed their readiness to move to a different region or extend their commute.
This figure marks a substantial increase from the 14% of workers willing to do so during the third quarter of 2021, a timeframe used as a reference point in the study. It’s worth noting that during this period, many workplaces initially attempted a “return to work” until the omicron variant of COVID-19 caused a delay in many employers’ plans during the winter season.