Redfin: More Americans warm up to the prospect of living in place where they’d be in a minority

by Candyd Mendoza26 Sep 2019

More home buyers and sellers have opened up to the idea of moving to a place where they’d be in the racial, ethnic, or religious minority.

Redfin’s latest report revealed that 38% of home buyers and sellers would be hesitant about moving to an area where they’d be a religious minority, down from 41% in 2017. Overall, only 22% said they’d be reluctant to live in a place where they’d be in the racial, ethnic, or religious minority.

"This decade's tumultuous political climate has widened the aisle between parties not only in Congress and the voting booth but in our nation's communities," said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. "While the share of home buyers and sellers who hesitate about moving to a place where most people have different ideologies has been declining, I imagine tensions will start to flare again as we head into the 2020 election year.”

More respondents said they would be eager to move to an area where most people have differing political views, increasing from 9% of home buyers and sellers in 2017 to 16% in 2018. Meanwhile, 46% of respondents said they were neutral at the prospect.

Broken down by age groups, 23% of buyers and sellers aged 25 to 34 would be excited about moving to these places, while only 6% of people aged 65 and over warmed up to the idea.

When broken down by race, 40% of white homebuyers and sellers said they would hang back from moving to a place where most residents have opposing political views. African-American respondents, on the other hand, were most likely to be open to the prospect. Around 22% of non-white respondents said they were enthusiastic, compared to 14% of white Americans.

Young people were also most likely to be enthusiastic about moving to a more racially diverse place. Nearly a third (29%) of respondents reported enthusiasm about moving to an area where they’d be in the racial, ethnic, or religious minority. Twenty-two percent would feel unsure at the prospect, and almost half felt neutral about it.

“As more people—especially young professionals—head inland from blue coastal cities seeking affordability in smaller inland metros, it's likely they will seek out communities where they'll live, work and send their kids to school with like-minded people,” Fairweather said. “We expect to see red places in the middle of the country become redder and the blues bluer as the migration trends we've been reporting continue."

Forty-three percent of African-Americans and 26% of white Americans showed eagerness to the prospect of moving to a place where most residents are of a different race, ethnicity, or religion. Just 10% of African-American respondents were hesitant, compared to 25% of white respondents.

“It's possible respondents felt more comfortable expressing their hesitancy about moving to a place where they'd be in the political minority than moving to a place where they'd be in the racial minority, as it has become acceptable and commonplace to openly avoid interaction with people of different political opinions,” Redfin wrote.