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Published: Jul 27, 2020 6 min read

The coronavirus pandemic and near record-low interest rates have Americans considering big moves. A new analysis of home search data, shows house hunters are looking west in hopes of finding more space or more affordable options

According to an analysis of over 1 million users who searched for homes in the second quarter, 27.4% of home shoppers were looking to move from one metro area to another, according to real estate brokerage Redfin. That’s up from 25.2% during the same period in 2019.

Phoenix, Sacramento and Las Vegas were the more popular cities people were looking to move to, while the highest number of buyers seeking to move came from New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. The survey sampled Redfin users who were searching for homes across 87 metro areas.

"The factors driving a surge in overall homebuyer demand—low mortgage rates and changes in what people are looking for in a home—are lighting a fire in people who were already considering a move to a different area," said Taylor Marr, Redfin economist. "As we enter the second half of the year, I expect more people to move from one part of the country to another as the pandemic continues to influence people's priorities and lifestyles."

Meanwhile, the National Association of Homebuilders/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index, which measures single-family home builder sentiment, reached its pre-recession level of 72 for the month of June, up from the low of 30 during the spring months. While the number of new housing starts is down for 2020 thanks to pandemic related lockdowns, the decline is smaller than expected. Single-family housing starts are just 1.3% below the level for the first half of 2019. Still, the number of homes under construction is near a three year low of 497,000 units.

What are people paying for mortgages right now?

Borrowers with 700 credit scores were charged an average of 3.69% to secure a 30-year fixed-rate purchase mortgage on Friday, according to Money's survey of over 8,000 mortgage lenders across the country. The average rate for a 30-year refinance was 4.514%.

What are today’s advertised rates?

Of course, mortgage rates vary widely by location and personal factors like location, the size of your down payment and your credit score. Here are today’s advertised mortgage rates at some of the mortgage industry’s largest lenders. (All rates are APRs. The rates you see may be different.)

Wells Fargo

Based in San Francisco, Wells Fargo has more than 7,000 locations.

Mortgage rates advertised for July 27:

30-year fixed: 3.123%

15-year-fixed: 2.937%

5-year ARM: 2.851%

JP Morgan Chase

Based in New York, JP Morgan Chase has nearly 5,000 U.S. branches.

Mortgage rates advertised for July 27:

30-year fixed: 2.967%

15-year-fixed: 2.542%

5-year ARM: 2.697%

(Rates based on New York City zip code 10006.)


Quicken, a non-bank lender based in Detroit, is the nation’s largest mortgage lender by dollar origination volume.

Mortgage rates advertised for July 27:

30-year fixed: 3.236%

15-year-fixed: 2.942%

(Quicken doesn’t advertise a five-year adjustable rate.)

What are experts saying about the housing market?

Ali Wolf, Chief economist at Meyers Research, a real estate data analytics and consulting firm, told Money:

For more expert home price prediction, read: How Long Will Home Prices Continue to Rise? 8 Experts Weigh In

What should house hunters be watching this week?

On Tuesday, S&P and CoreLogic will release the Case-Shiller Home Price index for May. For April, the national index showed a 4.7% increase in home prices over 2019. The two-month lag time makes this index less useful in times of major change, like right now, but people like it because it compares the sale price of the same property over time.

More from Money:

Don't Have 20% for a Down Payment? Here's How to Buy a Home With Less

How Low Will They Go? 6 Mortgage Experts Predict the Future of Rates

View Money’s Best Mortgage Lenders of 2020