At the end of 2018, the number of Americans expressing interest in moving to a new metro increased, according to the latest data collected by Redfin.
According to Redfin’s migration analysis, 25% of home searchers looked to relocate to another metro in the fourth quarter of 2018.
This percentage is a slight increase from 23% in 2017, and now sits at the highest recorded level in the report's history.
The migration report utilized data from Redfin’s website, gathering information from more than 1 million users who searched for homes across 87 metros, from October through December.
The report revealed that across the country, more and more Americans expressed interest in moving away from notoriously expensive markets like San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C.
In fact, Redfin states all of these metros saw their outflows (people moving away from the area) dramatically increase from the previous year, especially in San Francisco. In this metro, 24% of Bay Area Redfin users were searching for homes in another metro, which is an uptick from 19% during the same time period in 2017.
However, Denver made the biggest move up 2017’s list, as 24% of Denverites searched for homes outside the metro, climbing from 17% the previous year.
Interestingly, although Seattle’s market continues to be one of the most expensive in the nation, its net inflow (the number of people moving into an area) surged in Q4, making it the fifth-most popular migration destination. Redfin notes this as especially surprising since the company thought the metro's inflow peaked in 2017.
“In both Seattle and Denver prices were growing rapidly in 2017 and early 2018 to the point that buyers backed off in the second half of 2018,” Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said. “However, people looking to leave high-tax metros for a city with mountain views and top-notch hiking are more likely to pick Seattle over Denver because Washington State doesn’t have an income tax. In fact, the top destination for Denverites looking to leave is Seattle.”
The graph below shows the net inflow of residents year over year.
(Click to enlarge)
NOTE: Redfin's sample-sized users must have viewed at least 10 listings during the quarter. In order to calculate net inflow and outflow, Redfin took the number of users looking to leave the metro area and subtracted the number of users looking to move to the metro area from another metro area.