Political divisions even affect where homeowners want to live

by Ryan Smith04 Nov 2020

The presidential election may be over, but political divisions in the US have grown wide enough that they’re even affecting where homeowners want to live. Forty-two percent of US residents said they would be hesitant to move to an area where they were in the political minority, according to a survey conducted last month by Redfin.

That’s up from 32% in June, and the highest share since Redfin began tracking the statistic in 2017. Of course, with presidential campaigns in full swing last month, political tensions were perhaps running higher than usual.

“With political signs lining the front yards of homes across America, house hunters can’t escape the political views of their prospective neighbors,” said Daryl Fairweather, Redfin chief economist. “While living among like-minded people is important to many home buyers, key concerns like affordability and space are more likely to be the deciding factors in the home-buying process – especially as remote work gives families the freedom to leave dense, expensive cities in search of bigger homes and better value during the pandemic.”

More people moved from Democratic-leaning counties to Republican-leaning counties than from red to blue, as families seeking space during the pandemic abandoned more politically liberal cities, Redfin found.

However, hesitance about living in an area where one is in the political minority was found across the political spectrum. Trump voters and Biden voters were equally likely to express skepticism about living in a place where most people’s politics disagreed with their own, Redfin found.

A smaller – but still significant – share of Americans said they wouldn’t be enthused about moving to a place where most people looked or prayed differently. Twenty-eight percent of respondents said they’d be hesitant to move to an area where they would be in the racial, ethnic or religious minority. That’s up from 20% in June, according to Redfin.

Trump voters were the most likely to express skepticism about relocating to an area where most people were of a different race or religion, with 36% saying they’d be hesitant to do so. Meanwhile, 23% of Biden voters said they would be hesitant to move to an area where they were a racial, ethnic or religious minority.