Homebuyers, Chasing Affordability, Look At Moving Cities At Record Rates
The number of people able to buy a home is down significantly, but those still wanting to buy are looking to move to new metropolitan areas at unprecedented levels.
Roughly a quarter of users on Redfin.com were looking to move to a new metro area in the last three months of the year, according to a report from the brokerage. That figure is a bump from 2021, when 22.1% of users looked at new areas, and up from about 18% pre-pandemic.
Still, the overall buyer pool is down as mortgage rates have soared and asking prices remain high. Pending home sales were at their lowest rate last quarter since 2015, down 32% from the year before. Las Vegas, Phoenix and Austin, all areas of significant activity during the pandemic, each saw pending sales fall more than 50%, per Redfin data.
Overall, eight of the top 10 migration destinations had fewer people searching in the areas in the last quarter of the year than 2021. But for those looking to move spots, Las Vegas and Sacramento were the most population destinations for those relocating but had net inflows — number of people considering moving into a metro minus the number of those wanting to leave — of 5,500, down from about 6,500 the year before.
Most looking for places in Sacramento were looking from San Francisco, while most looking in Las Vegas originated from Los Angeles.
Miami and Tampa were the third- and fourth-most popular location for relocation, with mostly New Yorkers looking at the Florida cities. Cities with the highest percentage of Redfin users exploring new metro areas also included Chicago and Washington, D.C.
New York lost more than half a million people from its population between April 2020 and July 2022, or 2.6%, according to U.S. Census Bureau data, tied with D.C. for the highest proportional population loss. California also lost more than 500,000 people, with Illinois losing over 230,000. Montana, Utah and Idaho grew rapidly, and Florida and Texas increased their populations by 1.6 million people combined.