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A Record Share of Homebuyers Are Relocating, Many to Places Endangered By Climate Change

September 26, 2023 8:00 AM

Redfin reports Sacramento and Las Vegas, which grapple with extreme heat, are the most popular destinations for relocating homebuyers

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- (NASDAQ: RDFN) — A record 26% of homebuyers are looking to move to a different part of the country, according to a new report from Redfin (redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage. That’s up from 24% a year ago and roughly 19% before the pandemic began.

Elevated mortgage rates have cooled the overall U.S. housing market, with fewer homes for sale and fewer buyers in the market. But a high portion of the homebuyers who are moving are relocating to different metro areas. There are 7% fewer Redfin.com users looking to move away from their home metro than a year ago. That’s compared to a 16.5% decline for those searching within their home metro.

Relocations are holding up better than in-metro moves largely because homebuyers are searching for affordability, and remote work gives many Americans the freedom to move. Nine of the 10 most popular migration destinations have a lower median home-sale price than the most common origin of homebuyers moving in.

Sacramento, CA, for instance, is the most popular destination for relocating homebuyers. The typical home in that metro sells for $575,000, nearly a million dollars less than the typical home in San Francisco ($1,480,000), the most popular origin of buyers moving in. With a 7% mortgage rate–roughly the average for August–the monthly payment for the median-priced Sacramento home is $3,889, compared to $10,010 for the median-priced San Francisco home.

“Half of the buyers I’m working with are moving in from out of town, all but one from the Bay Area,” said Alison Williams, a Redfin Premier agent in Sacramento. “Most of them are moving not necessarily because they can’t afford the Bay Area, but because they want a bigger home and better quality of life. They’re searching for high-end homes with spacious yards where they can raise a family. I’m also working with a few investors who are looking to buy a home here and rent it out for a few years before moving in themselves.”

Sacramento, Las Vegas and Orlando are the most popular migration destinations

After Sacramento, Las Vegas and three Florida metros–Orlando, North Port-Sarasota and Tampa–are the most popular destinations for homebuyers looking to relocate.

Myrtle Beach, SC climbed to #6 after debuting on Redfin’s list of most popular destinations in July at #9. Another Florida metro, Cape Coral, is also in the top 10.

Those metros have a few things in common: They’re more affordable than the most common origin of homebuyers moving in, and they face increasing climate risks. Sacramento and Las Vegas face severe heat risk, Orlando, North Port-Sarasota, Myrtle Beach and Cape Coral face extreme wind/hurricane risk, and Tampa and Cape Coral are at extreme risk of flooding.

While research has shown that homebuyers consider climate risk when deciding where to live, affordability is often a more significant factor. A recent Redfin survey found that roughly 8% of U.S. residents likely to move within the next year are doing so because they’re concerned about the impact of climate change on their previous area, compared with 22% moving for a lower cost of living.

Top 10 Metros Homebuyers Are Moving Into, by Net Inflow
Net inflow = Number of Redfin.com home searchers looking to move into a metro area, minus
the number of searchers looking to leave

Rank

Metro*

Net Inflow,
August 2023

Net Inflow,
August 2022

Top Origin

Top Out-of-State
Origin

1

Sacramento, CA

5,100

8,900

San Francisco, CA

Chicago, IL

2

Las Vegas, NV

5,000

6,800

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

3

Orlando, FL

4,300

2,200

New York, NY

New York, NY

4 (tie)

North Port-Sarasota, FL

4,000

5,300

New York, NY

New York, NY

4 (tie)

Tampa, FL

4,000

7,100

New York, NY

New York, NY

6

Myrtle Beach, SC

3,700

3,100

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.

7

Cape Coral, FL

3,600

5,400

Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

8

Dallas, TX

3,400

4,700

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

9

Portland, ME

3,300

3,100

Boston, MA

Boston, MA

10

Houston, TX

3,100

3,300

New York, NY

New York, NY

*Combined statistical areas with at least 500 users searching to and from the region in June
2023-August 2023

Homebuyers are leaving expensive cities like San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles

Homebuyers are leaving San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles more than any other metro in the country. That’s based on net outflow, a measure of how many more Redfin.com users are looking to leave a metro than move in.

It’s typical for expensive job centers to top the list of places homebuyers are moving away from, as those people seek more affordable housing. Homebuyers leaving Los Angeles, for instance, are most commonly moving to Las Vegas, where homes are half the price.

Top 10 Metros Homebuyers Are Leaving, by Net Outflow
Net outflow = Number of Redfin.com home searchers looking to leave a metro area, minus the
number of searchers looking to move in

Rank

Metro*

Net
Outflow,
August 2023

Net
Outflow,
August 2022

Portion of Local
Users Searching
Elsewhere

Top
Destination

Top Out-of-
State
Destination

1

San Francisco, CA

26,900

39,000

24%

Sacramento, CA

Seattle, WA

2

New York, NY

25,300

23,900

30%

Miami, FL

Miami, FL

3

Los Angeles, VA

20,200

32,700

19%

Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas, NV

4

Washington, D.C.

14,500

18,600

19%

Salisbury, MD

Salisbury, MD

5

Chicago, IL

5,000

3,900

17%

Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee, WI

6

Boston, MA

4,600

10,100

21%

Portland, ME

Portland, ME

7

Hartford, CT

3,400

750

79%

Boston, MA

Boston, MA

8

Detroit, MI

2,200

4,800

27%

Grand Rapids, MI

Cape Coral, FL

9 (tie)

Denver, CO

2,100

3,900

35%

Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

9 (tie)

Seattle, WA

2,100

7,500

19%

Spokane, WA

Phoenix, AZ

*Combined statistical areas with at least 500 users searching to and from the region in June
2023-August 2023

To view the full report, including charts and methodology, please visit: https://www.redfin.com/news/housing-migration-trends-august-2023

About Redfin

Redfin (www.redfin.com) is a technology-powered real estate company. We help people find a place to live with brokerage, rentals, lending, title insurance, and renovations services. We sell homes for more money and charge half the fee. We also run the country's #1 real estate brokerage site. Our home-buying customers see homes first with on-demand tours, and our lending and title services help them close quickly. Customers selling a home in certain markets can have our renovations crew fix up their home to sell for top dollar. Our rentals business empowers millions nationwide to find apartments and houses for rent. Customers who buy and sell with Redfin pay a 1% listing fee, subject to minimums, less than half of what brokerages commonly charge. Since launching in 2006, we've saved customers more than $1.5 billion in commissions. We serve more than 100 markets across the U.S. and Canada and employ over 5,000 people.

For more information or to contact a local Redfin real estate agent, visit www.redfin.com. To learn about housing market trends and download data, visit the Redfin Data Center. To be added to Redfin's press release distribution list, email [email protected]. To view Redfin's press center, click here.

Redfin Journalist Services:

Ally Braun

206-588-6863

[email protected]

Source: Redfin

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