Coastal city exodus continues: Phoenix, Sacramento and Las Vegas now most popular

As more people are forced to stay at home and work from home, those who live in small spaces are branching out and seeking homes with extra wiggle room. According to Redfin, 27.4% of its users looked to move to another metro area in the second quarter of 2020, a new record as it’s up from 25.2% in Q2 of 2019.

In April and May, 27% of homebuyers were looking at other metros. Realtor.com also said that listing views in suburban ZIP codes grew 13% in May.

“The factors driving a surge in overall homebuyer demand – low mortgage rates and changes in what people are looking for in a home – are lighting a fire in people who were already considering a move to a different area,” said Redfin Economist Taylor Marr.

“Add in employers’ increasingly flexible remote work policies and the fact residents of many big coastal cities can’t fully enjoy their local amenities, and the people who have long wanted to live in a more affordable area or closer to family are incentivized to make the move soon,” Marr said.

The metros with the most outflow of residents? New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C. and Chicago. Redfin noted that expensive coastal cities, like these, typically see the most out-migration.

Redfin said users are most often looking to move to inland areas with affordable housing. Most Redfin users looked at listings in Phoenix, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Austin and Atlanta during Q2.

“As we enter the second half of the year, I expect more people to move from one part of the country to another as the pandemic continues to influence people’s priorities and lifestyles,” Marr said. “But it’s also important to note that some pandemic-driven moves are temporary, and the stories about families hiding out in remote cabins won’t all result in home purchases or permanent relocation.”

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