Redfin: Home Relocation Near Record High

The share of users looking to move to a different metro area is near its record high as high rates and prices up the appeal of affordable places.

Nearly one-fourth (24.1%) of U.S. homebuyers looked to move to a different metro area in the three months ending in October, Redfin reported. That is on par with the record high 24.2% set in the third quarter and up from 18% in 2019, before the pandemic ushered in the remote-work era that gave many Americans more flexibility to relocate.

Courtesy Redfin, Seattle.

Despite the U.S. housing market cooling significantly during the second half of 2022 as high mortgage rates, inflation and a stumbling economy deter would-be homebuyers and sellers, for the people who are still buying homes, an unprecedented portion are relocating to new metros. Many are seeking relative affordability as near-7% mortgage rates and persistently high home prices make expensive parts of the country even more expensive.

Sacramento, Las Vegas and Miami were the most popular destinations for users looking to relocate, followed by San Diego and Tampa. Half of the top 10 migration destinations are in Florida (Cape Coral, North Port-Sarasota and Orlando in addition to Miami and Tampa). That’s despite the state being hit by Hurricane Ian, one of the deadliest, most destructive storms in U.S. history, in September.

The report said relatively affordable Sun Belt metros are typically most popular with relocating homebuyers, largely because buyers can get more home for less money. In Las Vegas, for instance, the typical home cost $410,000 in October, half the price of the typical home in Los Angeles ($823,000)—the most common origin for people moving there.

More homebuyers looked to leave San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C. and Boston than any other major metro. Redfin said homebuyers typically leave expensive coastal job centers more than they leave other places, a trend that started before the pandemic and picked up steam due to remote work and rising housing costs. They most commonly head to more affordable regions. Sacramento, where homes cost less than half what they do in the Bay Area, is the most common destination for people leaving San Francisco, for example.