Having kids drives families to lower-cost housing markets

by Francis Monfort04 Nov 2018

Families with newborns are moving to lower-cost housing markets, indicating that decisions about housing and having kids are intertwined, according to an analysis by Zillow.

Expecting mothers were found to be more likely to move in any given year than those who are not, despite people generally moving less these days. Among women ages 15 to 50, those who have had a baby in the past year are a quarter more likely than women who did not to have moved during that year.

Zillow listed the following as possible reasons to explain the data: seeking more space for a growing family; moving closer to family, whether for help with parenthood’s extra responsibilities or for quality time with the grandparents; seeking better job prospects to support a family; or planning ahead to settle in a preferred school district.

The analysis also found that not only do women with newborns move more, they also tend to move to areas with lower housing costs. Zillow found that in 26 of the 35 largest US metro areas, women who both moved and had a baby in the past year tended to move to areas with less expensive homes than where they came from.

The typical new mother moved to an area where homes are valued $11,500 less than where they moved from. Similar-aged women without newborns moved to areas where home values were only about $9,000 less than where they moved from.

Zillow’s analysis found the phenomenon more pronounced in the largest 35 metro areas. New moms from these areas moved to areas where median-valued were $20,100 cheaper than where they moved from. Women from these areas without newborns moved to areas with home values only about $6,300 cheaper.

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