Redfin Reports the Share of Homebuyers Looking to Relocate Is Near Pandemic Peak

Written by Posted On Thursday, 27 January 2022 06:41

Nearly one-third of Redfin.com users looked to move away from their hometown in the fourth quarter, close to the record high set in the first quarter

Nationwide, 31.2% of Redfin.com users looked to move to a different metro in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to a new report from Redfin (redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage.

That number is down from the record high of 31.5% set in the first quarter of last year, but is still up significantly from pre-pandemic levels, with 26.3% of Redfin.com users looking to relocate in the fourth quarter of 2019.

Homebuyer interest in relocating to a new part of the country rose with the onset of the pandemic and has remained elevated for nearly two years. That’s partly due to low mortgage rates and partly the surge in remote work that’s allowing Americans to choose where they live based on things like affordability and weather rather than proximity to an office.

The latest migration analysis is based on a sample of about 2 million Redfin.com users who searched for homes across 111 metro areas in the fourth quarter, excluding searches unlikely to precede an actual relocation or home purchase. To be included in this dataset, a Redfin.com user must have viewed at least 10 homes in a particular metro area, and homes in that area must have made up at least 80% of the user’s searches. Redfin’s migration data goes back to 2017.

Homebuyers are flocking to relatively affordable areas including Miami, Phoenix and Las Vegas

Miami, Phoenix, Las Vegas, Sacramento and Tampa were the most popular migration destinations of all the major U.S. metros in the fourth quarter. Popularity is determined by net inflow, a measure of how many more Redfin.com home searchers looked to move into a metro than leave.

Sunny, relatively affordable metro areas are typically the most popular places for people who are relocating. Sunbelt metros like Phoenix and Las Vegas are perennially near the top of the list, and this is the second quarter in a row that Miami has taken the number-one spot.

Homebuyers tend to move from expensive areas to more affordable places. New York ($640,000 median sale price) was the number-one origin for people moving to Miami ($440,000), while Los Angeles ($835,000) was the top origin for people moving to both Phoenix ($435,000) and Las Vegas ($339,000).

Top 10 Metros by Net Inflow of Users and Their Top Origins

Rank

Metro*

Net Inflow, Q4 2021

Net Inflow, Q4 2020

Portion of Searches from Users Outside the Metro, Q4 2021

Portion of Searches from Users Outside the Metro, Q4 2020

Top Origin

Top Out-of-State Origin

1

Miami, FL

11,931

4,204

32.6%

27.4%

New York, NY

New York, NY

2

Phoenix, AZ

11,047

9,431

35.9%

36.4%

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

3

Las Vegas, NV

8,031

9,495

42.7%

52.1%

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

4

Sacramento, CA

7,756

8,990

41.2%

49.0%

San Francisco, CA

Reno, NV

5

Tampa, FL

7,678

4,873

46.4%

56.7%

Orlando, FL

New York, NY

6

Dallas, TX

6,363

7,891

25.6%

32.5%

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

7

Cape Coral, FL

5,526

4,199

66.8%

75.7%

Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

8

North Port, FL

5,362

2,946

65.2%

77.1%

Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

9

San Antonio, TX

5,334

2,906

43.1%

44.9%

Houston, TX

Los Angeles, CA

10

Atlanta, GA

4,921

7,794

20.0%

26.8%

New York, NY

New York, NY

*Combined statistical areas with at least 500 users in Q4 2021

†Negative values indicate a net outflow; among the two million users sampled for this analysis only

People are leaving big, expensive cities

San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C. and Seattle are the top metros homebuyers looked to leave in the fourth quarter. That’s according to net outflow, a measure of how many more Redfin.com home searchers looked to leave a metro than move in.

Major metropolitan job centers–especially expensive ones–tend to top the list of places Redfin.com users are looking to leave, and this quarter is no exception. But as remote work becomes more solidified for many workers, even more people are leaving San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Seattle than a year ago.

Top 10 Metros by Net Outflow of Users and Their Top Destinations

Rank

Metro*

Net Outflow, Q4 2021

Net Outflow, Q4 2020

Portion of Local Users Searching Elsewhere, Q4 2021

Portion of Local Users Searching Elsewhere, Q4 2020

Top Destination

Top Out-of-State Destination

1

San Francisco, CA

48,904

41,982

23.5%

25.1%

Sacramento, CA

Seattle, WA

2

Los Angeles, CA

39,586

24,220

19.4%

18.1%

San Diego, CA

Phoenix, AZ

3

New York, NY

27,769

43,982

27.1%

35.4%

Philadelphia, PA

Philadelphia, PA

4

Washington, DC

18,675

12,463

15.1%

13.3%

Salisbury, MD

Salisbury, MD

5

Seattle, WA

16,632

3,171

17.0%

14.6%

Phoenix, AZ

Phoenix, AZ

6

Boston, MA

9,980

1,376

16.6%

12.9%

Portland, ME

Portland, ME

7

Chicago, IL

7,033

6,642

12.8%

12.5%

Cape Coral, FL

Cape Coral, FL

8

Denver, CO

3,275

6,022

26.1%

28.8%

Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

9

Minneapolis, MN

2,122

-906

23.4%

19.1%

Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

10

Portland, OR

1,668

-2,195

17.2%

16.4%

Seattle, WA

Seattle, WA

*Combined statistical areas with at least 500 users in Q4 2021

†Among the two million users sampled for this analysis only

To view the full report, including charts and methodology, please visit: https://www.redfin.com/news/Q4-2021-housing-migration-trends

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