1 in 5 American adults moved due to COVID-19 or know someone who did, study says

Experts say the moves are impacting economics, emotions
Posted at 11:01 AM, Jul 13, 2020

James Harvey has owned a moving company for the past 10 years.

He says every summer it’s the same: he sees a spike in business with more people moving. This summer, however, is different he’s says because of COVID-19.

“It’s an emotional time,” said Harvey, owner of Around the Clock Movers and Havana Truck Rentals. “It’s hard not to feel bad for a lot of people.”

Paperwork is piling up as Harvey tries to meet the demand for his customers that often tell him their reasons for relocating.

“Before people were moving for fun or moving to experience new things,” he said. “Now it’s for economics.”

What Harvey is experiencing is happening across the country.

A new study by the Pew Research Center shows one in every five American adults moved due to COVID-19 or know someone who did.

“Everything going on is highly emotional right now,” said real estate expert Lauren Feldesman with Compass.

Feldesman has helped many people move out of the early epicenter of this pandemic -- New York City.

With more people escaping big city living during this crisis, Feldesman says just looking at properties now is a lot more involved. She added there’s also a lot less tolerance for any potential health risks.

“Even just today I had somebody that had to cancel the showing because they said that they just flew here two days ago from a high-risk state,” she said. “I was like, ‘I’m sorry. I can’t show you the property.’”

These moves are impacting more than just those moving.

With so many Americans changing their address, it’s changing property prices across the country, some at historic rates, according to real estate tracker Zumper.

There’s a lot of good people that don’t deserve to be going through these situations

While Harvey has mixed emotions about helping people move to help reduce their risk of contracting the virus he also understands the importance of moving out and moving on.