The 2020s have only just begun, but already nearly half of all U.S. homeowners plan to move sometime over the next 10 years, according to a new survey from online loan marketplace LendingTree.

The survey specifically found that 45 percent of homeowners are planning a move this decade. Of those would-be movers, 16 percent plan to stay in their own city, 15 percent intend to stay in their own state and another 15 percent believe they’ll move to an entirely new state.

Another 22 percent of the people who plan to move are unsure about their specific plans.

Research firm Qualtrics conducted the survey on behalf of LendingTree in December. It involved collecting online responses from 1,552 Americans. LendingTree published the results Tuesday.

Among the reasons survey respondents gave for their potential impending moves, relocating “to an area with a lower cost of living” was the most popular answer. The response hints at the well-publicized housing inventory shortages in many markets, which have contributed to ever-escalating home prices.

Job opportunities, proximity to children and retirement were also all common responses when respondents were asked why they might move.

The survey additionally found that 28 percent of millennial homeowners are considering a return to renting. The finding is noteworthy given that homeownership has long been seen as an essential forward step toward greater financial stability. However, millennials also face significant student loan debt and increasingly unaffordable housing, which has been linked to the growth of renting among members of the generation.

Among people who are already renting, the survey found that a plurality, or 42 percent, expect to buy a home within the next two to five years. However, a quarter, or 25 percent, actually said they never plan to buy a home at all.

A generational breakdown of the survey results also offers insights into the specific housing objectives that Americans of different ages have. For example, baby boomers’ top reason for buying a new house in the next decade was retirement, while millennials — who are currently in their 20s and 30s — said their top goal would be to move to a larger house.

Among generation X, retirement, moving to a larger home and downsizing were all popular reasons cited for potentially moving to a new house.

Though LendingTree’s report on the survey didn’t go into detail on what these various trends mean, it is clear from the findings that the demographics and objectives of homebuying Americans is changing. On the one hand, members of the large baby boomer generation are now entering retirement. And on the other, millennials are at an age when past generations bought homes, though they have fewer financial resources than their older counterparts.

Whatever happens broadly to real estate in the coming years, then, these two trends are likely to have a massive impact.

Email Jim Dalrymple II

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