Phoenix, Las Vegas, Sacramento, Austin and Atlanta were the most popular travel destinations for Redfin.com Users looking to relocate to another area in the past month, with many of the potential buyers being from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York.
The analysis, which found that almost a third of users wanted to move to a different subway area in April, is based on a sample of more than two million Redfin.com users living in 87 subway areas looking for apartments. In Phoenix, Las Vegas and Sacramento, more than 6,000 Redfin users moved to their respective metro in April.
Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said movement from one subway area to another has seen an upward trend since the pandemic began as Americans continue to take advantage of remote working and the ability to live in cheaper parts of the country .
“The surge in removals may be slowing from its peak, but the proportion of homebuyers looking to move to another area is still well above pre-pandemic levels,” Fairweather said. “The dust hasn’t settled. There are still a lot of unknowns about which part of the workers will return to the office and how many will pick up and move as they finally have clarity from their employers about whether or how often they can work remotely. “
A previous analysis of U.S. mail address change requests from Bloomberg’s CityLab found that most people who fled America’s largest cities stayed relatively close to their place of origin, although the pre-pandemic sunbelt areas were growing.
“The term or concept of urban exodus that really only applies to New York and San Francisco,” Stephan Whitaker, a political economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland who analyzed migration patterns during the pandemic, told CityLab.
Andrea White, a Sacramento-based Redfin agent, said the cheaper domestic metros are the most popular destinations for Redfin.com users looking for homes in another part of the country and even California.
“When prospective buyers look at listings in Sacramento, they find that their big city rent here costs more than a mortgage,” White said. “Most of them are not worried that competition is intense and property prices are rising because it is an attractive lifestyle. Employees with the option to work remotely often decide that it is worth moving out of a big city to live in a bigger house for less money. “
This is following a trend across the country as moving companies want to buy larger, cheaper homes in smaller metropolitan areas such as Bay City, Michigan, Pueblo, Colorado, Portland, Maine, and Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.
The larger cities, on the other hand, are losing people. In April alone, more than 32,000 Redfin users left New York and more than 23,000 Redfin users left San Francisco. Los Angeles and Washington, DC also saw more than 10,000 Redfin users outflow in April.
The majority of people who leave the Los Angeles area go to Phoenix, Dallas, and Las Vegas via Redfin, while the majority of people who leave the San Francisco area move to Sacramento and Austin.
“Some Bay Area and Southern California buyers are about to retire and want to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life. Some plan to have children in the future and are looking for a more spacious home to raise their family. Said White.
For New Yorkers, Boston was the most common destination outside of the state. And those most likely to leave Boston went to Portland, Maine.