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Pending home sales increased 0.9% in July – rising for the second consecutive month – according to the National Association of Realtors®. The Northeast and Midwest posted monthly losses, while sales in the South and West grew. All four U.S. regions saw year-over-year declines in transactions.

The Pending Home Sales Index (PHSI)* – a forward-looking indicator of home sales based on contract signings – rose 0.9% to 77.6 in July. Year over year, pending transactions fell by 14.0%. An index of 100 is equal to the level of contract activity in 2001.

“The small gain in contract signings shows the potential for further increases in light of the fact that many people have lost out on multiple home buying offers,” said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. “Jobs are being added and, thereby, enlarging the pool of prospective home buyers. However, rising mortgage rates and limited inventory have temporarily hindered the possibility of buying for many.”

Pending Home Sales Regional Breakdown

The Northeast PHSI shrank 5.8% from last month to 63.2, a decrease of 20.2% from July 2022. The Midwest index fell 0.4% to 77.5 in July, down 16.0% from one year ago.

The South PHSI lifted 2.0% to 95.3 in July, declining 10.9% from the prior year. The West index improved 6.2% in July to 61.3, dropping 12.8% from July 2022.

“Interestingly, the West region experienced a meaningful price decline in the past year and buyers are quickly returning as a result,” Yun added.

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More than one-quarter (25.8%) of homebuyers are looking to move to a different part of the country, a record-high share and up from 23.7% a year ago. That’s according to a new report from Redfin (redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage. The portion of homebuyers looking to relocate has steadily risen since the pandemic began; the share stood at roughly 18% in 2018 and 2019.

While a record share of homebuyers are looking to relocate, the number is lower than it was a year ago as the frequency of homes changing hands drops to its lowest level in at least a decade amid the cool housing market. There are 7% fewer Redfin.com users looking to move away from their home metro than a year ago. That’s compared with a 17% decline for Redfin.com homebuyers staying in their hometown.

Myrtle Beach, SC has made it onto the list of most popular migration destinations for the first time on record. The South Carolina beach town is the 9th-most popular destination for relocating homebuyers, with people most commonly moving in from Washington, D.C. and New York.

Homebuyers are moving to Myrtle Beach for its relatively affordable homes and outdoorsy lifestyle, as is the case for most of the most popular migration destinations. People moving from pricey East Coast job hubs to Myrtle Beach can get much more house for their money. The typical home in the Myrtle Beach metro sells for about $360,000, compared with over $600,000 in Washington, D.C. and about $800,000 in New York.

“This area attracts a lot of retirees, particularly from the Northeast and the West Coast, because of its relatively inexpensive cost of living, low property taxes, golf courses and sunny weather,” said Myrtle Beach Redfin agent Monica Roman. “Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve also seen quite a few remote workers move in, drawn by our reasonably priced housing and year-round vacation lifestyle.”

Metros in the Sun Belt and Florida are the most popular migration destinations despite increasing risk of flooding, heat and hurricanes

Las Vegas tops the list of most popular destinations for Redfin.com users moving to a different metro area for the second month in a row. It’s followed by Sacramento and three Florida metros: Tampa, North Port-Sarasota and Cape Coral. Popularity is determined by net inflow, a measure of how many more Redfin.com users looked to move into an area than leave.

Relatively affordable metros with warm weather are typically the most popular destinations. Metro areas in the Sun Belt and Florida are perennially in the top 10 metros for relocating Redfin.com users. Housing affordability is an especially big draw as today’s elevated mortgage rates combine with stubbornly high home prices to push monthly mortgage payments near record highs.

Metros in the southern half of the U.S. are popular despite many of them facing increasing risk from climate change. For instance, Las Vegas faces severe heat risk, Tampa faces extreme flood risk and Myrtle Beach faces extreme risk of hurricanes and other severe wind events. People keep moving to those areas, though, largely because they’re typically relatively affordable. The median home price in Las Vegas is $415,000, compared to nearly $1 million in Los Angeles, the most common origin for homebuyers moving in. And the typical home costs $430,000 in Tampa, roughly half the cost of one in New York, where homebuyers most commonly come from.

It’s worth noting that there are fewer homebuyers moving into 8 of the 10 most popular destinations than there were a year ago as high mortgage rates cool the housing market.

Top 10 Metros Homebuyers Are Moving Into, by Net Inflow

Net inflow = Number of Redfin.com home searchers looking to move into a metro area, minus the number of searchers looking to leave

Rank

Metro*

Net Inflow, July 2023

Net Inflow, July 2022

Top Origin

Top Out-of-State Origin

1

Las Vegas, NV

5,400

6,500

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

2

Sacramento, CA

5,100

9,000

San Francisco, CA

Chicago, IL

3

Orlando, FL

4,600

1,300

New York, NY

New York, NY

4 (tie)

Tampa, FL

4,400

7,800

New York, NY

New York, NY

4 (tie)

North Port-Sarasota, FL

4,400

5,500

New York, NY

New York, NY

6

Cape Coral, FL

3,800

5,600

Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

7 (tie)

Dallas, TX

3,700

5,500

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

7 (tie)

Phoenix, AZ

3,700

6,600

Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA

9

Myrtle Beach, SC

3,600

3,000

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.

10

Houston, TX

3,400

3,700

New York, NY

New York, NY

*Combined statistical areas with at least 500 users searching to and from the region in May 2023-July 2023

Homebuyers are leaving expensive coastal cities for more affordable places

Homebuyers are leaving San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles more than any other metro in the country. That’s based on net outflow, a measure of how many more Redfin.com users are looking to leave a metro than move in.

Pricey coastal job centers are typically among the metros homebuyers most commonly leave. That’s largely because buyers are often looking to relocate to places with more affordable housing, something that has become more feasible with the prevalence of remote work. It has also become more feasible to move to beachy vacation towns: Homebuyers leaving Washington, D.C. are most commonly moving to the Salisbury, MD metro and those leaving Boston are most commonly moving to the Portland, ME metro.

Top 10 Metros Homebuyers Are Leaving, by Net Outflow

Net outflow = Number of Redfin.com home searchers looking to leave a metro area, minus the number of searchers looking to move in

Rank

Metro*

Net Outflow, July 2023

Net Outflow, July 2022

Portion of Local Users Searching Elsewhere

Top Destination

Top Out-of-State Destination

1

San Francisco, CA

27,100

38,700

24%

Sacramento, CA

Seattle, WA

2

New York, NY

24,500

25,200

29%

Miami, FL

Miami, FL

3

Los Angeles, CA

20,800

32,700

19%

Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas, NV

4

Washington, D.C.

15,100

18,600

19%

Salisbury, MD

Salisbury, MD

5

Chicago, IL

5,200

2,300

17%

Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee, WI

6

Boston, MA

4,600

9,900

21%

Portland, ME

Portland, ME

7

Hartford, CT

3,400

600

79%

Boston, MA

Boston, MA

8

Seattle, WA

3,100

12,500

19%

Spokane, WA

Phoenix, AZ

9 (tie)

Denver, CO

2,100

4,500

35%

Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

9 (tie)

Detroit, MI

2,100

5,000

26%

Grand Rapids, MI

Cape Coral, FL

*Combined statistical areas with at least 500 users searching to and from the region in May 2023-July 2023

To view the full report, including charts and methodology, please visit:

https://www.redfin.com/news/housing-migration-trends-july-2023

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