There has been a 50% increase in the number of people looking to leave New York and Los Angeles since last year. Nearly 29% of Redfin.com users nationwide looked to move to another metro in October.
Nationwide, 28.5% of Redfin.com users looked to move to another metro area in October, up from 24.9% a year before and a slight decline from 29.2% in the third quarter.
Sacramento, Las Vegas and Phoenix were the most popular destinations for people looking to move to a different metro area in October, with higher net inflows than any other major U.S. metro. A net inflow means more people are looking to move in than leave, while a net outflow means more people are looking to leave than move in.
All three places were more popular with out-of-towners in October than during the same time last year, likely reflecting pandemic-driven interest in moving to affordable areas to work remotely. In Sacramento, more than 50% of Redfin.com searches were from users outside the area in October, up from 44.1% last year. In Las Vegas, 49% of searches were from users outside the area, up from 46.9% last year, and in Phoenix the share of out-of-town searches was 34.2% versus 33.7% last year.
The net number of people looking to move into Sacramento from outside the area increased by more than 75% from last year, with about 6,400 people looking to move into Sacramento in October versus 3,600 last October. The net number of people looking to move into Las Vegas increased 70.5% (5,800, up from 3,400), and the number of people looking in Phoenix increased 51.5% (5,500, up from 3,700).
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 in October 2020, excluding searches unlikely to precede an actual relocation or home purchase. To be included in this dataset, a Redfin.com 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.
The vast majority of people moving to Sacramento from outside the metro are from the Bay Area
More than 72% of out-of-towners searching in Sacramento were based in the Bay Area, partly because its relative affordability and proximity is attracting remote workers. Sacramento is located just 90 miles northeast of San Francisco and homes are considerably more affordable, with the typical home selling for $480,000 in October versus $1.43 million in the San Francisco metro. Three other California metros—Los Angeles, Fresno and Chico—and Reno round out the top five origins for Redfin.com users looking to move to Sacramento, but the share of searches from those places are all in the single digits.
“There has been a surge of buyers coming from San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and Napa this summer and fall,” said Sacramento Redfin agent Kellee Bradford. “A lot of families are moving to Sacramento for affordable homes because they’re able to telecommute, and investors are buying homes to rent out because remote work is making the area so much more desirable.”
Los Angeles was the most common origin for out-of-towners searching for homes in Las Vegas
Nearly 38% of out-of-town searches for homes in Las Vegas came from Los Angeles in October. The Bay Area, Portland, OR, Seattle and San Diego—all expensive coastal metros, like Los Angeles—round out the top five origins for people looking to move to Las Vegas. The typical Las Vegas home sold for $317,000 in October, versus $735,000 in Los Angeles.
“For some people, moving from coastal California to Las Vegas is a no-brainer from a financial standpoint,” said Laura Salgues, a Redfin real estate agent in Los Angeles. “I recently worked with one couple who are both now working remotely, and they sold their expensive Los Angeles home to purchase a larger, more luxurious home in the Las Vegas suburbs. They’re able to save more money and enjoy a better quality of life because the Las Vegas home is so much more affordable.”
People moving to Phoenix are coming from expensive coastal metros
The story is similar in Phoenix, where Los Angeles was the most common origin for out-of-towners searching for homes in October, with nearly one-quarter of out-of-town searches coming from the Southern California metro. It’s followed by Seattle, the Bay Area, Chicago and San Diego. Migration from California to Phoenix may have helped flip Arizona blue in the 2020 presidential election.
|Top 10 Metros by Net Inflow of Users and Their Top Origins (October 2020)|
|Rank||Metro*||Net Inflow†||Net Inflow LY||Portion of Searches from Users Outside the Metro||Portion of Searches from Users Outside the Metro LY||Top Origin||Top Out-of-State Origin
|1||Sacramento, CA||6,397||3,646||50.1%||44.1%||San Francisco, CA||Reno, NV|
|2||Las Vegas, NV||5,762||3,380||49.0%||46.9%||Los Angeles, CA||Los Angeles, CA|
|3||Phoenix, AZ||5,548||3,662||34.2%||33.7%||Los Angeles, CA||Los Angeles, CA|
|4||Austin, TX||5,290||1,997||39.5%||30.0%||San Francisco, CA||San Francisco, CA|
|5||Atlanta, GA||4,603||3,221||26.4%||26.7%||New York, NY||New York, NY|
|6||Dallas, TX||4,303||1,745||31.3%||24.5%||Los Angeles, CA||Los Angeles, CA|
|7||Nashville, TN||3,209||1,287||40.2%||30.9%||New York, NY||New York, NY|
|8||Tampa, FL||2,914||1,529||55.8%||51.8%||Orlando, FL||New York, NY|
|9||Charlotte, NC||2,357||1,523||40.0%||40.7%||New York, NY||New York, NY|
|10||Miami, FL||2,242||917||26.0%||23.8%||New York, NY||New York, NY
|*Combined statistical areas with at least 500 users in Q4 2020
†Negative values indicate a net outflow; among the one million users sampled for this analysis only
Significantly more Redfin.com users are leaving New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles than last year
Expensive coastal cities typically experience the most out-migration, and October was no exception. New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles are the top three places Redfin.com users were looking to leave, with higher net outflows than any other major metro in the U.S.
The portion of Redfin.com users in the New York City metro looking to move away has declined since last year, from 37.1% to 34.8%, but that’s likely an underrepresentation of the actual share of New Yorkers looking at homes outside the area because a lot of people have already left the metro, so their search origins reflect their current location. In San Francisco, the share of Redfin.com users looking to move away in October was flat from last year (23.6% versus 23.7%), and in Los Angeles it was up slightly (17.8%, up from 16.5%).
The net number of people looking to leave was significantly higher than the same time last year in all three metros. Nearly 28,000 Redfin.com users looked to leave New York in October, up 53.1% from 18,000 last October. Roughly 26,000 people looked to leave the Bay Area, up 27.6% from 20,000, and 16,000 people looked to leave Los Angeles, up 51.8% from about 11,000.
|Top 10 Metros by Net Outflow of Users and Their Top Destinations (October 2020)|
|Rank||Metro*||Net Outflow†||Net Outflow LY||Portion of Local Users Searching Elsewhere||Portion of Local Users Searching Elsewhere LY||Top Destination||Top Out-of-State Destination
|1||New York, NY||27,998||18,285||34.8%||37.1%||Boston, MA||Boston, MA|
|2||San Francisco, CA||25,963||20,353||23.6%||23.7%||Sacramento, CA||Seattle, WA|
|3||Los Angeles, CA||16,123||10,623||17.8%||16.5%||San Diego, CA||Las Vegas, NV|
|4||Washington, DC||7,902||3,969||12.7%||10.7%||Salisbury, MD||Salisbury, MD|
|5||Chicago, IL||4,619||2,068||12.2%||10.0%||South Bend, IN||South Bend, IN|
|6||Denver, CO||2,707||1,419||26.9%||22.7%||Seattle, WA||Seattle, WA|
|7||Milwaukee, WI||1,601||460||40.8%||37.7%||Chicago, IL||Chicago, IL|
|8||San Diego, CA||1,511||-1,853||25.4%||18.2%||Los Angeles, CA||Phoenix, AZ|
|9||Seattle, WA||1,087||-3,376||13.4%||11.1%||Los Angeles, CA||Los Angeles, CA|
|10||Indianapolis, IN||1,017||289||40.6%||30.9%||Chicago, IL||Chicago, IL
|*Combined statistical areas with at least 500 users in Q4 2020
†Among the one million users sampled for this analysis only