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2019 in review: Why and where people moved this year

December 4, 2019 — Written by Opendoor

Giving people the flexibility and freedom to move is at the heart of everything we do at Opendoor. We start each day by asking ourselves: how many more people could be closer to family, pursue a new job opportunity, or chase a new dream if a stressful moving process wasn’t standing in the way?

To date, we’ve proudly helped more than 60,000 customers buy, sell, or trade-in a home. As we set our sights on helping even more people move in 2020, we’re pausing to reflect on 2019. We dug into our data and sat down with our Consumer Trends Expert, Beatrice de Jong, to shed light on why our customers moved — and where they planted new roots this year.

Making moves: The top 6 reasons people moved in 2019 

  1. Downsizing, 23% “The Marie Kondo effect — the idea of keeping less — has inspired minimalism in a major way,” de Jong notes. “After paring down their belongings, people simply don’t have the same need and want for as much home square footage.” De Jong also acknowledges that downsizing can help lower your mortgage and utility payments and free up room in your budget for other things that may ‘spark joy.’
  2. Upgrading, 22% “Many people upgrade their homes when they’re planning for the future, especially when expanding their family,” de Jong shares. “Wanting to settle down and have a bit more space earlier in life is a natural progression that inspires people to move.”
  3. Relocating, 15% The remote workforce is quickly growing, and that means there’s no longer a need to factor in a commute — or live near the office. “Many people are moving to smaller cities and more suburban or rural areas,” de Jong shares. “With remote work, they can prioritize affordability and the lifestyle they want, and get more bang for their buck in places outside of a big city.”
  4. Retirement, 10% People may be staying in the workforce later in life than ever before, but retirement is still a big reason why people moved in 2019. “Retirees often look to downsize,” de Jong affirms. “Condos or townhomes in communities with shared amenities are a popular pick for those who love hosting family, entertaining, and enjoying a high quality of life.”
  5. Need cash, 9% Did you know that the average home value nationwide reached a record high in 2019? “Many home sellers took advantage of their home’s appreciation by selling it, banking the equity, and moving on to a new chapter,” de Jong notes.
  6. Investment property, 7% Popular online room-sharing and house-sharing platforms have made it easier than ever to become a landlord and earn money on an investment property. “You don’t necessarily have to move somewhere to invest in an up-and-coming hotspot,” she explains. Selling an investment property is also easier than ever with Opendoor, and we’re seeing more and more investors embrace the ease of Opendoor when finally parting with homes they held as investments.

Where people moved this year: America’s rising neighborhoods

Home prices nationwide showed no sign of stopping their steady uphill climb in 2019, which helped contribute to Americans moving at the lowest rate ever recorded. Thousands across the country who did move in 2019 turned to Opendoor for the convenience and certainty we bring to one of life’s biggest decisions. So far in 2019, we saw more than 1.5 million people tour Opendoor homes across the country — which is nearly 5,000 visits per day.

We looked at our data to uncover the most popular neighborhoods that buyers gravitated to in a handful of the 21 markets Opendoor operates in this year. Our biggest takeaway? Faced with rising unaffordability and stubbornly low levels of inventory, house hunters flocked in droves to exurbs on the fringes of their metro areas.

Atlanta

Communities on the northern fringe of Atlanta like Lawrenceville, Kennesaw, and Marietta reigned supreme among house hunters in the Peachtree City in 2019. Here you’ll find fast growing towns that combine the best of suburban amenities with dense town centers containing a variety of dining, shopping, and entertainment options.  

Dallas-Fort Worth

6 of the top 10 communities for buyer activity this year are adjacent to the fast growing hub of Fort Worth on the Metroplex’s west side. Towns like Keller — home to the hottest zip code for DFW house hunters and previous winner of Money Magazine’s Top 100 Places to Live award — and Saginaw offer plenty of outdoor recreational options and short commute times to major business centers. 

Phoenix

Phoenix house hunters continue to migrate to the edges of the Valley. 5 of the top 10 neighborhoods for buyers are located in the West Valley and 9 out of the top 10 areas are located about 30 minutes or more from downtown. With local home prices continuing their upward climb, communities like Peoria, Surprise, and Goodyear are a more affordable option for first time home buyers or growing families.

Looking to move in 2020? Begin home shopping today with our free Opendoor app! Download it to unlock the front door and self-tour homes anytime between 6am-9pm, seven days a week, no appointment needed.

If you’re thinking of starting a new chapter in the new year, learn more about how selling to Opendoor compares to the traditional process. We provide convenience, simplicity, and certainty so you can move on to your next chapter with ease. Get started here.