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Amid rising housing costs, prospective homebuyers are looking to relocate: Redfin

The most popular migration destinations are more affordable but also face increasing climate risks

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.

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.

While those destinations tend to be more affordable than some of the metros homebuyers are leaving, they’re also more prone to severe weather from climate change.

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. 

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