A record 26% of homebuyers are looking to move to a different part of the country, up from 24% a year ago and 19% before the pandemic began, a new Redfin report found.
Redfin grounded this study on the searches of about two million Redfin.com users who viewed for-sale homes online across more than 100 metro areas from June 2023 to August 2023.
Amid elevated mortgage rates and a lack of local housing inventory, homebuyers are searching for more affordable options, boosting relocations rather than in-metro moves.
Indeed, nine of the ten most popular migration destinations have a lower median home-sale price than the top areas homebuyers are looking to leave, the study showed.
Sacramento, California, for instance, is the most popular destination for relocating homebuyers. The median price for a single-family home there sells for $539,900 as of Sept. 22, according to Altos Research.
Meanwhile, the median price in San Francisco, which is the most popular market of origin for buyers moving to Sacramento, is $1,799,000. In other words, the median price for a single-family home is roughly three times more expensive in San Francisco than in Sacramento.
Popular migration destinations also face increasing climate risks
Sacramento, Las Vegas, Orlando, Florida, North Port-Sarasota, Florida, and Tampa, Florida, are the most popular destinations for homebuyers looking to relocate, according to Redfin.
Sacramento and Las Vegas face severe heat risk while Orlando, North Port-Sarasota, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Cape Coral, Florida, face extreme wind/hurricane risk. Tampa and Cape Coral are at extreme risk of flooding.
Lower housing costs a primary driver of relocations
When deciding where to live, affordability is often a more significant factor than climate, a recent Redfin survey found.
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 in search of a lower cost of living.
Meanwhile, homebuyers are leaving San Francisco, New York City and Los Angeles more than any other metros in the country, the report found.