Americans are increasingly looking at moving away from major urban centers to smaller cities and towns that offer more accessible outdoor spaces, according to a new analysis by Redfin
Redfin found that a record 27.4% of its online visitors were looking to move to another metro in the second quarter of this year, up from 25.2% one year ago. The migration analysis reflects a sample of more than one million users of Redfin’s website, who searched for homes in 87 metros during the second quarter.
Redfin’s chief economist Taylor Marr said factors driving the surge in buyer demand – which include low mortgage rates and changes in what people are looking for in a home – are pushing more people to look at moving to a different area.
“Add in employers’ increasingly flexible remote work policies and the fact residents of many big coastal cities can’t fully enjoy their local amenities, and people who have long wanted to live in a more affordable area or closer to family are incentivized to make the move soon,” Marr said. “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.”
Redfin found that the most popular relocation destinations were inland areas where housing is generally much more affordable than in coastal regions. The most widely searched for areas on Redfin’s website were Phoenix; Sacramento, California; Las Vegas; Austin, Texas; and Atlanta.
The analysis found that residents of Los Angeles, New York City and San Francisco were among the keenest to move to pastures new.
“There’s an influx of people moving into Phoenix,” said Thomas Wiederstein, a local real estate agent. “They’re coming from areas like California, Texas, Washington, Chicago, and from the East Coast. The cost of living here is a huge driver, but weather also plays a big role, with many looking to avoid those cold winters. With the pandemic, there are a ton of out-of-towners planning to work remotely who’d like a big backyard and office space, which didn’t used to be so high on their priority lists.”
Wiederstein said buyers may be drawn to the fact that they can snag those items on their wish lists in Phoenix for around $400,000.