Housing MarketReal Estate

The post-pandemic migration surge has evidently ended

Analysis by John Burns Research & Consulting finds that migration distances have shrunk in the search for affordable housing

The migration surge that characterized the early years of the COVID-19 pandemic has come to an end, according to an analysis from John Burns Research & Consulting.

Against a backdrop of constrained housing supply, the pace of migration has slowed compared to 2020 and 2021. But where movement does occur, it tends to be over shorter distances. The allure of affordable cities near major, higher-priced metro areas has gained traction, marking a shift from the suburban exodus observed during the early stages of the pandemic. 

Simultaneously, homebuilders are expected to buy more land in smaller, more affordable metros to secure future development opportunities.

High-growth markets have become increasingly expensive places to buy and rent homes, forcing many potential homebuyers to relocate to nearby, smaller markets with more affordable homes.

Amid this dynamic landscape, certain migration hotspots have emerged, according to the analysis, which relied upon recent change-of-address forms. 

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, have experienced robust migration activity. Conversely, former magnets like Orlando and southwest Florida have lost some of their allure. While cities such as Atlanta; Boise, Idaho; and Nashville still hold appeal, their draw has tempered compared to previous years.

Meanwhile, locations that were once overlooked are now gaining traction. Minneapolis; Riverside-San Bernardino, California; and Sacramento are among the unexpected beneficiaries of shifting migration patterns.

Established hubs like New York, Los Angeles and Boston are experiencing population declines, although these losses are cushioned by strong inflows of international migrants. 

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