Consumers Willing to Take a Pay Cut to Live Somewhere More Affordable

By Kelly Leighton | Dec. 14, 2021 | 2 min. read

The pandemic had many consumers reevaluating their location and their employment, as many places let people work from home.

Nearly two years into the pandemic, more fully employed Americans are appreciating the ability to cut their cost of living, and for some it’s worth a smaller paycheck. According to a Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC survey of more than 2,000 adults, 41% said they would take a pay cut or accept a lower paying job if it meant they could move to a more affordable location. Younger Americans (aged 18-34) were more likely than their older peers (55-64) to take a pay cut in order to move, at 51% to 27%. Forty-seven percent of those aged 35-44 said they would take a smaller paycheck to pay less in cost of living, while 32% of those aged 45 to 54 would. The older someone is, the likely it is they are more settled in their community and home and less likely to move, as well as cut into their earnings. The majority (57%) of younger respondents (age 18 to 34) said their housing needs have changed due to a growing household.

“Our latest survey reveals that young adults no longer feel constrained to living in the same city, even if it means taking a lower salary in exchange for living in a more affordable location. Younger folks may be redefining the American Dream, but one thing remains clear: Americans are still prioritizing homeownership,”  said M. Ryan Gorman, president and CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC.

For homeowners looking for a more affordable area to move, the process of selling their home is less intimidating than it has been in the past. Only 16% said they found that the homeselling process is a concern, down from 20% in June and 24% in February. Thirty-seven percent of respondents said they would like real estate websites to offer a tool that would compare the cost of living between different communities.

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