The housing market is still in a lull, with sky-high mortgage rates presenting challengers to buyers and sellers alike. Even so, finding a new place to put down roots is a priority for lots of Americans right now: A new report finds that a record one-quarter of homebuyers nationwide are looking to move to a different city.
Real estate brokerage Redfin's new report, which looks at the search data of two million users, finds that over 25% of total homebuyers are interested in moving to a new property outside of the metro area they already live in.
This makes for the highest proportion of inter-city homebuyers ever since Redfin started tracking the data in 2017. In 2022, 23% of Redfin homebuyers were looking to relocate to new cities, while the corresponding figure before the pandemic was less than 20%.
What the data says
Redfin ranked the most popular metro areas by their net inflows, a measure of how many more homebuyers are coming into an area than there are people leaving that same area. The list is heavy on Sun Belt cities, starting with Phoenix, Las Vegas and Miami:
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Miami, Florida
- Tampa, Florida
- Orlando, Florida
- North Port-Sarasota, Florida
- Cape Coral, Florida
- Dallas, Texas
- Sacramento, California
- Houston, Texas
In measuring outflows, the company finds that the largest proportion of inter-city homebuyers are often coming from the country's largest metro areas. Coastal cities like San Francisco and Seattle are among those now losing the highest proportion of people, alongside New York City and Los Angeles.
Keep in mind
The number of people seeking to move to a new city is at a recent high, and we've seen new home sales jump by 20% year-over-year in May. However, the total number of moves is still dropping as a result of still-low inventory and the high mortgage rates that continue to plague the market.
Many of the cities listed by Redfin have soared in price themselves in recent years; Phoenix, while more affordable than some coastal metros, saw the largest average home price increase in the country in 2022, rising almost 33%.
Another thing Redfin is quick to point out is that while these high-inflow cities tend to be more affordable than the big cities people are leaving, many of these trendy metros are likely to be heavily affected by the mounting climate crisis.
Phoenix is subject to droughts and extreme heat, for example. As climate change continues to perpetuate disaster events in high-risk areas, expenses like home insurance are likely to become pricier and harder to come by.