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Redfin: Share Of Relocating Buyers At All-Time High In July

Doug Page
Aug 11, 2022
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People are looking for less expensive and better lifestyles.

Even as the overall housing market has cooled this spring and summer due to 5%-plus mortgage rates and economic woes, the share of relocating buyers out of all buyers is at an all-time high, according to a new report from Redfin.

The technology-powered real estate brokerage said Thursday that a record 33.7% of Redfin.com users nationwide looked to move from one metro to another in July, up from 32.6% in the second quarter and about 26% before the pandemic. The report said high home prices and mortgage rates, combined with permanent remote work, are motivating buyers to move from expensive parts of the country to more affordable areas. 

Miami, Sacramento, and San Diego were the top three destinations for people looking to move in July, Redfin said.

“Miami was the most popular migration destination in July, as it was in the first half of the year.” the report said. “But migration into the South Florida metro is starting to slow, with fewer homebuyers looking to move to Miami than a year earlier.”

After many months as one of the top three destinations, Phoenix fell to No. 6 in July, Redfin said. The company attributed it to home prices in the Arizona market increasing by as much as 20% year over year to around $485,000 in June, up from what it said the national median home price of $428,000.

For the first time since it began tracking migration in 2017, Redfin said, San Diego catapulted to third on the list. The company said that while San Diego home prices are on a par with Los Angeles and Seattle, people moving there are seeking a slower pace of life.

“We’ve always had a lot of people from the Bay Area and Los Angeles move to San Diego for a better work-life balance and a beachside lifestyle, and it has picked up since remote work became commonplace,” said San Diego Redfin agent Jodie Lee. “This year, I’ve also seen quite a few remote workers move in from places like Seattle and North Carolina because they like the sunny weather and outdoor activities in this area. San Diego also has a big military presence, and more service members are relocating here now that the cooling market means they have a better chance of getting an offer with a VA loan accepted.”

Portland, Maine, is also becoming more popular with out-of-town buyers, appearing in Redfin's Top 10 list for the first time, the company said. It’s especially popular with Bostonians, both those relocating and those purchasing vacation homes, Redfin said.

Tampa; Las Vegas; North Port, Fla.; Cape Coral, Fla.; and San Antonio, Texas, perennially popular with out-of-town buyers, were also on the Top 10 list in July, Redfin said.

San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York City, meanwhile, remained the cities people are leaving the most, similar to earlier this year, Redfin said.

“It’s typical that homebuyers look to move out of expensive job centers, and the trend has generally intensified during the pandemic as white-collar employees in those places switch to remote work,” Redfin said.

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