The COVID-19 health crisis has affected our lives, habits and behaviors in significant ways, both at the personal and collective level. At MovingWaldo, Canada’s first free Moving Concierge Service and platform, they decided to conduct a study to know more about the impacts of Covid-19 on the moving industry. Has the confinement incited Canadians to move? Or, on the contrary, has the pandemic discouraged them from going about their future moving plans?

A total of 1821 individuals who have moved in the past year responded to MovingWaldo’s in-house survey, and the results are very telling. The study puts light on how this pandemic has impacted Canadians’ moves, examining the ways in which the confinement influenced their decision-making process.

The study reveals that in 2020, 1 out of 10 moves has been caused by Covid-19, and that nearly 1 out of 5 will be in 2021. Actually, 85% of Canadians said having had to precipitate their decision to move because of the health crisis. For an overview of the study, have a look at the infographic.

It is also demonstrated that 50% of the moves that occurred in 2020 came from a need for change in the respondents’ living environment and space. 

The motivations behind Canadians’ moves

Among the most telling revelations of MovingWaldo’s survey, we learn that 10% of the Canadians who moved in 2020 did it because of the health crisis. What were the other reasons why Canadians moved in 2020?

According to the survey respondents, 75% of Canadians move for personal reasons, such as changing neighborhood, moving in with someone, an important purchase, etc. Professional reasons, including office relocations and new opportunities, were responsible for 15% of the moves. Finally, the Covid-19 health crisis was behind 10% of the moves in 2020. 

This being said, apart from personal and professional reasons, which are recurring each year, the Covid-19 pandemic becomes a new important factor in moving decisions

Going into greater depth, the survey also looks at how the pandemic influenced Canadians’ decision to move. For those who moved because of Covid-19, here are the main reasons:

  • Lower rent cost: 38%
  • Living with friends/family: 32%
  • Get a larger dwelling: 26%
  • Move out of the city: 23%
  • Optimize telework conditions: 12%

From the results above, we can see that the living space and conditions are central to their decision. This might indicate that by spending more time at home during the confinement, maybe due to working/studying from home conditions, Canadians felt the need to better their environment in order to optimize their lifestyle

A new stumbling block to moving

The health crisis has brought new impediments upon Canadians’ moving projects. Indeed, we can observe from the results the emergence of a new obstacle in the moving process; Covid-19, which becomes one of the main obstacles in 2020. According to the respondents, 40% of the moves that were delayed in 2020 were delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

In light of the survey’s responses, MovingWaldo could see that the principal fears associated with moving are 30% due to administrative tasks (paperwork, lease cancellation, etc.). In fact, 76% of Canadians have admitted that changing addresses is the most painful task of all the administrative burden that comes with moving, including changing their address with the government of Canada

 In need of helping hands

A move is indeed a great and sizable life event, which can also be associated with a stressful and tiring experience. Could that be the reason why Canadians seek the help of professional movers for their move?

The survey allowed MovingWaldo to learn that 4 out of 10 Canadians call upon a professional moving company for their move. Furthermore, 67% of Canadians define moving during the Covid-19 pandemic as a stressful event. Calling upon professional help might, in such circumstances, relieve some of the stress that comes with moving as well as relying on a handy moving checklist.

The assistance from professional movers, however, is not the only resource for Canadians. In fact, 60% of them seek the help of close ones for their move: 68% rely on family members, and 49% on friends.

Planning ahead for a future move

Despite the inevitable inconvenience that came along with the health crisis in 2020, the survey analysis confirms that Canadians still express the desire to move. In fact, 22% say that they would like to move in 2021, half of whom plan to do so in the next 6 to 12 months to come. 

The study also shows that 33% of Canadians between the ages 18 and 30 feel the desire to move shortly. The confinement seems to have sparked the need for a change, or a new adventure, in that generation. 


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