Even as the pandemic enters year three, a higher percentage of Americans than usual continue to consider relocating, according to a new report from Redfin real estate brokerage.
A record 32.4 percent of Redfin.com users searched for a home in a different metro area in January 2022, which is up from the previous peak of 31.5 percent during the first quarter of 2021, according to Redfin’s report. The percentage of buyers looking to relocate is much higher than before the pandemic, when about 25 percent of buyers searched for homes outside their metro area.
Buyers who are relocating frequently look for a more affordable location and are able to move more easily because of remote work policies, according to Redfin’s analysis.
Among those who moved in 2021, 17 percent relocated to a different state, according to HireAHelper’s research based on Census Bureau reports, which is the highest percentage of nonlocal moves since 2015.
The data shows that the highest ratio of people who moved out compared to people who moved in were in New Jersey (54 percent) and California (49 percent). But HireAHelper’s data analysis found some surprises, too. For example, way more people moved into New York City in 2021 than moved out — 86 percent more people, in fact.
San Jose had the opposite experience in 2021, with 68 percent more people moving out than moving in to that high-cost housing market, according to HireAHelper. By state, Arkansas saw the highest percentage (44 percent) of people moving in compared to moving out.
Redfin’s Housing Migration Trends report is more forward looking since it compares searches by buyers. Miami continues to be the most popular migration destination among Redfin users, based on the number of people searching to move there compared to people who live there now and are searching for homes in other places. Other popular destinations include relatively affordable cities with warm weather, including Phoenix, Tampa, Sacramento and Las Vegas.
The top places that people want to leave, based on Redfin users’ home search habits, were San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Seattle and Washington, D.C., in January, all markets with relatively expensive housing.
For the full Redfin report, click here.
For the full HireAHelper click here.