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Austin, Once a Migration Hotspot, Is Losing Homebuyers to Other Cities For First Time on Record

October 25, 2023 9:00 AM

Redfin reports homebuyers are looking to leave Austin as housing costs stay high and some recent transplants move back to their hometowns

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- (NASDAQ: RDFN) — More homebuyers looked to leave Austin, TX than move in during the third quarter, according to a new report from Redfin (redfin.com), the technology-powered real estate brokerage. That’s the first time on record there hasn’t been a net inflow into the Texas capital. Redfin’s records go back through 2017.

The number of Austin-based Redfin.com users looking for homes outside the metro area has more than doubled over the last year.

This marks a stark reversal for Austin, which was a magnet for out-of-town homebuyers looking for a more affordable place to live even before the pandemic. Once the pandemic began, ushering in an era of remote work and record-low mortgage rates, Austin’s popularity boomed: It was the number-one U.S. migration destination in the beginning of 2021.

Austin has fallen out of favor with relocating homebuyers for several reasons:

Slowing migration is good news for Austin locals looking to buy. Austin’s median home price is down about 5% year over year, the biggest decline in the U.S., and it’s down nearly 20% from its pandemic peak. “I’m telling buyers that this is the first time in years they can get a deal on a house, even with high mortgage rates,” said Austin Redfin Premier agent Carmen Gioia. “It’s probably a better time to buy down than waiting for mortgage rates to drop, because once that happens, competition will escalate and prices will shoot up. Right now, buyers are able to take their sweet time, negotiate with sellers, and buy a home without getting into a wild bidding war.”

Homebuyers leaving Austin are most commonly moving to other places in Texas. San Antonio and Corpus Christi are two of the three most popular destinations for Redfin.com users moving away from Austin; the other is Denver.

Share of U.S. homebuyers moving to a different part of the country is near record high

Nationwide, the share of homebuyers relocating to a different metro area is still near record highs. Roughly one-quarter (25.9%) of homebuyers looked to move to a different part of the country in the third quarter. That’s essentially flat from the record high of 26% hit in August, and up from 24% a year ago and about 19% before the pandemic began.

There are 9% fewer Redfin.com users looking to move away from their home metro than a year ago–the biggest annual drop on record. But out-of-town home searches are holding up better than in-town searches: There are 17% fewer Redfin.com users searching within their home metro than a year ago.

Homebuyers are moving into relatively affordable but climate-risky places

Sacramento, CA, Las Vegas and Orlando, FL were the most popular destinations for relocating homebuyers in the third quarter. Popularity is determined by net inflow, a measure of how many more Redfin.com users looked to move into an area than leave.

Half of the 10 most popular destinations are in Florida, and 8 of the 10 are on the East Coast–although the two most popular are in the western part of the U.S. Nearly all of the places homebuyers are moving to are more affordable than the places people are coming from, which helps explain why they’re so popular even though most face increasing climate risks. Sacramento, for instance, faces severe heat risk, and Orlando faces extreme wind/hurricane risk.

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, Q3 2023

Net Inflow, Q3 2022

Top Origin

Top Out-of-State Origin

1

Sacramento, CA

4,800

8,700

San Francisco, CA

Chicago, IL

2

Las Vegas, NV

4,500

7,000

Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles, CA

3

Orlando, FL

4,000

3,000

New York, NY

New York, NY

4

Myrtle Beach, SC

3,800

3,200

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.

5

North Port-Sarasota, FL

3,700

5,200

New York, NY

New York, NY

6

Portland, ME

3,500

3,300

Boston, MA

Boston, MA

7

Tampa, FL

3,400

6,700

New York, NY

New York, NY

8

Cape Coral, FL

3,300

5,200

Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

9

Miami, FL

3,200

8,000

New York, NY

New York, NY

10

Salisbury, MD

3,100

2,500

Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.

*Combined statistical areas with at least 500 users searching to and from the region in July 2023-Sept. 2023

Homebuyers are leaving San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles for more affordable places

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.

Expensive coastal job centers typically top the list of metros homebuyers are leaving, mainly because homebuyers are seeking more affordable places to live. The median sale price in San Francisco, for instance, is more than double that of Sacramento, the most common destination for homebuyers leaving the Bay Area.

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, Q3 2023

Net Outflow, Q3 2022

Portion of Local Users Searching Elsewhere

Top Destination

Top Out-of-State Destination

1

San Francisco, CA

25,800

37,700

24%

Sacramento, CA

Seattle, WA

2

New York, NY

25,300

23,500

30%

Miami, FL

Miami, FL

3

Los Angeles, CA

20,200

33,500

19%

Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas, NV

4

Washington, D.C.

13,900

18,800

19%

Salisbury, MD

Salisbury, MD

5

Chicago, IL

4,800

5,600

16%

Milwaukee, WI

Milwaukee, WI

6

Boston, MA

4,300

9,300

21%

Portland, ME

Portland, ME

7

Hartford, CT

3,300

900

79%

Boston, MA

Boston, MA

8

Denver, CO

2,200

3,700

35%

Chicago, IL

Chicago, IL

9

Detroit, MI

2,000

4,500

26%

Grand Rapids, MI

Cape Coral, FL

10

San Diego, CA

1,800

inflow of 6,900

29%

Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas, NV

*Combined statistical areas with at least 500 users searching to and from the region in July 2023-Sept. 2023

To view the full report, including charts and methodology, please visit: https://www.redfin.com/news/housing-migration-trends-Q3-2023

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.

Contact Redfin

Redfin Journalist Services:

Ally Braun

206-588-6863

[email protected]

Source: Redfin

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