From coast to coast, prospective homebuyers are on the hunt for affordability — even if it means leaving their city to find it.
A record number of potential U.S. homebuyers are seeking to relocate, according to a report published last week by real estate brokerage firm Redfin. The report ranked the cities Redfin users appeared most likely to try to leave — San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York topped the list.
"The typical home in San Francisco or San Jose now costs more than $1.5 million," Taylor Marr, Redfin's deputy chief economist, said in the report. "Add in today's 5%-plus mortgage rates and you have a sky-high monthly payment."
Marr noted that a lack of affordability is a tougher sell for cities than ever before, with the rise of remote work across large swaths of the country. Roughly 33% of Redfin users searched for homes in new cities in the second quarter of 2022, up from 26% in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
Here are the top seven cities prospective homebuyers are seeking to leave, according to Redfin's report:
- San Francisco
- Los Angeles
- New York
- Washington D.C.
Denver, Chicago and Minneapolis round out the list's top 10. Collectively, they represent some of the country's most populous cities: Minneapolis is the only one on the list with fewer than 650,000 people, according to U.S. Census data.
To compile its list, Redfin analyzed searches across more than 100 metro areas from about 2 million of its users. It compiled metrics like "net inflow" and "net outflow," which refer to the number of people who sought to enter a given city compared with the number of people who wanted to leave it.
The cities with the most net outflow are the ones people most want to leave, according to the report. Correspondingly, these cities with the most net inflow may see an influx of homeowners in the coming months:
- Tampa, Florida
- Sacramento, California
- Las Vegas
- Cape Coral, Florida
- San Diego
- North Port, Florida
- San Antonio
Florida, California and Texas each have multiple cities on that list — perhaps indicating an American craving for warm weather, particularly mid-summer. Florida is a particularly popular destination, occupying four of the top 10 slots.
Plenty of people search sites like Redfin with no intention of buying a house. The company says its analysis excluded such searches. Marr noted that Redfin's data typically aligns with U.S. Census migration patterns, an indication of its usual accuracy.
"We believe our data is a strong leading indicator of actual moving decisions," he said.