Report variety of homebuyers transferring away from costly coastal cities

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A record number of Americans are still trying to get away from expensive subway areas even as restrictions continue to ease across the country, according to real estate agent Redfin.

Around 31.2% of Redfin users searched various subway areas nationwide in January and February, up from around 26.1% over the same period in 2020, according to a recent report from the broker.


Although the number of users looking to move has increased steadily in the nation since the pandemic, the past two months have set a new record.

In fact, 31.2% is the highest percentage of users looking to move since 2017 when Redfin started tracking the migration.

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According to Redfin, this growth may be due to working from home, which allows the majority of shoppers to effectively prioritize factors like affordability and living close to family and friends rather than being closer to their office.

The majority of users wanted to escape from expensive subway areas such as New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, DC, and Seattle. However, January and February had the largest net outflows in these areas. This is a measure of how many house hunters wanted to get off a subway before moving in.

In particular, the net outflow of users from New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles has “increased significantly” compared to the previous year, according to the report.

Meanwhile, Redfin data shows that net outflow in Washington, DC and Seattle has more than doubled.

Instead of paying the bill for these traditionally expensive locations, users are looking for cheaper housing options nearby.

The majority of users wanted to flee expensive subway areas like Washington, DC and San Francisco, according to Redfin. (iStock)

Philadelphia became the most popular travel destination for people getting off the New York subway, according to the report. In February, Philadelphia sold an average of $ 238,000, compared to $ 590,000 on the New York subway.

Likewise, people who wanted to leave San Francisco kept an eye on the house near Sacramento. The typical Sacramento home sold for $ 490,000 in February. Los Angeles residents, on the other hand, had their eye on San Diego, where the typical home sold for $ 685,000.

The number has increased as vaccines have been rolled out across the county and local governments begin easing restrictions and reopening the economy.

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Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said this suggests “the surge in moving from one part of the country to another is likely to outlast the pandemic”.

For some, the move may be temporary as the offices are reopening to some extent or living alone and not with their family again, according to Fairweather.

“For many Americans, a lasting impact of the pandemic and remote working is the freedom to live where they want to live,” he said.

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