Redfin.Com Users Leaving Expensive States Picks Up With Pandemic

New York’s Loss is Florida’s Gain: Redfin.Com Users Leaving Expensive States Picks Up With Pandemic


Nearly 53,000 more users looked to move out of California than into it in the third quarter, a 62% increase since the third quarter of 2019 and the highest rate since Redfin started tracking migration in the beginning of 2017. 

The story is similar in New York, where almost 47,000 more users looked to leave the state than move in during the third quarter, roughly 35% more than the 35,000 home searchers looking to leave during the same time period last year.

California and New York had the biggest upticks in people looking to move out of state—minus people looking to move in—since last year, followed by Massachusetts, Washington, D.C., and Illinois. 

“New York’s loss is Florida’s gain,” said Redfin economist Taylor Marr. “When the pandemic hit the U.S. in March, remote workers started leaving New York City and its ultra-expensive housing in search of wide-open spaces, sunshine and affordable homes—all of which you can find in Florida, with the bonus of no state income tax. The trend has only intensified as the pandemic continues and people feel more certain of their remote work and school plans.”

Nearly 22,000 more users looked to move into Florida than out in the third quarter, almost twice as many entrants as the third quarter of 2019 and the highest net inflow for the state since we started tracking migration. Movement into Florida has accelerated since the beginning of the year. 

Florida, Texas, Tennessee, North Carolina and Nevada saw the biggest increases in people looking to move in—minus people looking to move away—since last year.


The uptick in people leaving California and New York could impact the political makeup of their destination states. For instance, wealthy retirees moving from New York to Florida may be contributing to an increase in registered Republicans in the Sunshine State, and remote workers leaving California could be a factor in the uptick in registered Democrats in Arizona. 


This analysis is based on a sample of more than 2 million users who searched for homes across 87 metro areas that make up roughly 80% of the U.S. population, excluding searches unlikely to precede an actual relocation or home purchase. To be included in this dataset, a user must have viewed at least 10 homes in a particular metro area, and homes in that area must make up at least 80% of the user’s searches.

Dana Anderson

Dana Anderson

As a data journalist at Redfin, Dana Anderson writes about the numbers behind real estate trends. Redfin is a full-service real estate brokerage that uses modern technology to make clients smarter and faster. For more information about working with a Redfin real estate agent to buy or sell a home, visit our Why Redfin page.

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