Redfin was out with a report Tuesday that said, among its users, 25% percent of home searchers looked to move to another metro area in the second quarter of 2019, compared to 24% during the same period last year. The national share of home-searchers looking to relocate has been at this level—the highest on record—since the fourth quarter of 2018.
The latest migration analysis is based on a sample of more than 1 million Redfin.com users who searched for homes across 87 metro areas from April through June.
"People are increasingly looking to leave expensive coastal metros like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles," said Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather. "Lower mortgage rates have made buying a home more affordable, but not affordable enough for typical home buyers contending these areas' sky-high home prices and taxes. The home buyers who are heading out of town in search of affordability don't just want to save a few hundred dollars per month, they want to save thousands of dollars per month, and the only way to achieve that kind of cost savings is to move somewhere more affordable."
Phoenix retained the number-one spot on the list of metro areas with the highest net inflow of Redfin users in the second quarter. A net inflow means more people are looking to move in than leave, while a net outflow means there are more people looking to leave than people looking to move in. The share of home buyers searching in the Phoenix metro area from other metro areas was 33.7 percent in the second quarter, a slight decline from both a year earlier (34.0%) and the first quarter (34.5%).
Most of the top migration destinations are relatively affordable metro areas, especially compared to the places from which they are attracting the most new residents. This is the first time that Boston has made it into the top 10 migration destinations. Most of the interest in Boston is coming from New York, which Redfin said makes sense considering that Boston has similar job opportunities but sales, income, and property taxes that are all considerably lower than New York.
In a separate analysis, Redfin determined the most popular neighborhoods for transplants in each of the top migration destinations, based on the share of Redfin.com home searches by users outside the area. Arcadia, Phoenix; River Park, Sacramento; and Buckhead, Atlanta topped the list of most attractive neighborhoods to newcomers, most of which were suburbs that tended to have higher median home prices than the overall metro area.
The list of metros people most-often looked to leave was once again topped by New York, San Francisco, Los Angelesand Washington, D.C. in the second quarter. Net outflow is defined as the number of people looking to leave the metro minus the number of people looking to move to the metro.