San Francisco Has the Most Individuals Trying to Transfer Elsewhere

Despite all the talk about the onslaught of tech workers moving to Austin, the San Francisco residents who emigrated from the state were most likely to be looking in Seattle. (Getty)

San Francisco has more homebuyers looking to get out of the area than any other subway in the country as remote work triggers a national game of musical chairs in the city’s most expensive urban markets.

Nationwide, around 30% of buyers wanted to move in the third quarter of 2021, according to Redfin search data from around 2 million users. That’s less than the high of 31.5% seen in the first quarter of this year, but still higher than before the pandemic, when the rate was around 25%.

Almost 32,000 more Redfin users wanted to leave San Francisco than they wanted to move there in October 2021, about 6,000 more than at the same time a year ago. However, Redfin data shows that San Franciscans are also searching more within the city than they were a year ago, so the proportion of local users searching elsewhere has actually decreased slightly year-on-year – from 23.6% in 2020 to 22, 4% in 2021.

“Dense, expensive cities often experience the greatest exodus of residents – a trend that accelerated during the pandemic as more Americans moved to more affordable places thanks to remote working,” the Redfin report said.

Runner-up Los Angeles had a net search rate of more than 26,000 homebuyers outside of the city in October 2021, 10,000 more than a year earlier. The proportion of local homebuyers in the city looking elsewhere also rose to 19.2% in 2021, up from 17.8% in 2020.

New York City had the highest percentage of locals looking to move out in October 2021 at just over 26 percent, and had a net rate of 17,000 homebuyers looking outside of the city. it also had its highest percentage a year ago, when nearly 35 percent of local homebuyers looked elsewhere. Denver and Detroit also had more than a quarter of homebuyers planning to move in October 2021, though the net buying rate was much lower – less than 2,000 more wanted to go in either market than adding.

In all of the markets where homebuyers are most interested in moving, they have tended to move nearby and at cheaper prices. The most popular destination for San Francisco shoppers was Sacramento, which helped 41 percent of those outside the state capital to buy there in October 2021, up from nearly 50 percent a year ago. Despite all the talk about the onslaught of tech workers moving to Austin, the San Francisco residents who emigrated from the state were most likely to be looking in Seattle.

Price increases in Seattle could help the 9,000 people want to leave in 2021, up from just 1,100 in 2020. Those looking outside of Seattle are mostly targeting Los Angeles, but also represent the greatest interest outside of the state in Sacramento .

While Seattle supporters are arriving, Angelenos are primarily considering San Diego and Phoenix, but are also the top out-of-market online shoppers in Las Vegas and Dallas. New Yorkers are most interested in moving to Philadelphia, although interest in Miami and Atlanta is growing. New Yorkers make up the largest percentage of off-market buyers in these two southern markets, and Miami in particular has increased in interest with nearly 7,000 net outside buyers in 2021 – the highest in the country – compared to about 2,200 in 2020.

Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather said in the report that the listing site expects continued interest in a statewide relocation as remote work becomes permanent in many locations. But since those who moved from more expensive locations earlier in the pandemic are already driving house prices higher in their newly adopted cities, she said, “What is likely to change are the places people are moving to.”

“Popular Sunbelt migration destinations like Phoenix, Atlanta and Austin are likely to fall out of favor as skyrocketing house prices have made them less affordable,” she said. “Northern cities like Columbus, Harrisburg, and Indianapolis are likely to gain popularity as homebuyers seek better value for their money.”

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