Rich Americans Likelier to Move House, Reversing Pre-Covid Data

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High-earning Americans are now likelier to move house than low earners in a reversal of the usual pattern, according to new research, as the pandemic offers remote-work opportunities to white-collar employees.

The biggest jump in residential migration has come among workers earning more than $150,000, according to analysis by Apartmentlist.com based on Census Bureau surveys. About 16% of that group relocated in the past year, up from 11.5% in 2019.

That’s a break from past data that shows “a strong inverse relationship between moving and income,” with high earners more likely to stay put, the report said.

Rich Americans Likelier to Move House, Reversing Pre-Covid Data

A survey by the New York Federal Reserve backs Salvati’s findings. It shows that households with incomes above $100,000 are more likely to move in the coming year.

Overall, the Apartmentlist study found that the pandemic induced the first increase in U.S. migration for more than a decade, with 16% of Americans moving between April 2020 and April 2021, up from 14% the previous year.

With higher-earning Americans leading the way, there could be implications for the geographical distribution of wealth as some well-paid jobs shift out of the biggest cities -- a potential boost for smaller metropolitan areas.

Meanwhile younger people, who typically earn less, lack the flexibility to move -- except back home. More Americans aged 18-35 are living with their parents than at any time since at least the 1960s, according to Census Bureau data from April. They’re also more likely to delay major life events like getting married and having children.

Rich Americans Likelier to Move House, Reversing Pre-Covid Data

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