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Nearly 25% of U.S. buyers want to move to a new city

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With escalating housing costs crowding out buyers, more and more people are looking to move from big cities to Sun Belt states where homes are cheaper, particularly in Florida.

Nearly 25% of property search queries on online real estate brokerage Redfin.com are for cities where the person does not live, according to the company’s most recent data. This is about 10% more than five years ago.

Of 100 metropolitan areas surveyed in the three months ending October, the following 10 cities had the highest net flow of real estate searches to Redfin’s website. Net inflow is the number of people looking to move to a city minus the number of people looking to leave.

  1. Sacramento, California: 7,800
  2. Vegas: 7,100
  3. Miami: 6,700
  4. San Diego: 6,500
  5. Tampa, Florida: 5,600
  6. Phoenix: 4,700
  7. Cape Coral, Florida: 4,600
  8. North Port-Sarasota, Florida: 4,300
  9. Dallas: 3,800
  10. Orlando Florida: 3,700

By far the most popular relocation choices are in the Sun Belt states in the Southwest and Southeast, with half of the top destinations in Florida.

And the majority of those looking to move are from big cities, especially San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, Washington, DC and Boston. The following cities saw the highest flow of real estate searches, according to data from Redfin:

  1. San Francisco: 35,800
  2. Los Angeles: 34,100
  3. New York: 22,400
  4. Washington D.C.: 18,100
  5. Boston: 7,800
  6. Chicago: 7,300
  7. Detroit: 4,200
  8. Denver: 3,400
  9. Seattle: 1,600
  10. Philadelphia Cream: 1,500

To avoid rising housing costs, buyers are choosing Sun Belt metros largely because the homes are cheaper than what they would find in larger US cities, the study found. For example, a typical house in Las Vegas costs around $410,000, about half of what it would cost in Los Angeles.

To measure the share of homebuyers looking to move from one metro to another, someone browsing Redfin for properties in another city counts as a migrant. Migrants receive a weighted score based on the share of searched properties in a city where they do not live. Net inflow rankings were compiled based on the total number of migrants.

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