One in Three U.S. House Hunters Looked to Move to a New City in January

Smaller, less dense metros, from Austin, Texas, to Bend, Oregon, are seeing boom in interest from out-of-towners..

Nearly one in three Redfin users looked to move to another metro area in January, according to a report Thursday from the real estate website.

Redfin reported 31% of its users searched for homes in different cities, the largest percentage since 2017 and up from 26% recorded at the same time last year, the data showed.

As people look to move from large metro areas, smaller cities such as Phoenix, Las Vegas and Austin, Texas, saw the greatest net inflow, meaning more people looked to move there than to move away.

Austin topped the list of most-popular destinations for Redfin users in January, with 44.9% of searches coming from outside the area. It had a net inflow of 7,946 users, compared to 2,816 in January 2020. Most of those homebuyers came from the San Francisco Bay area, according to the report.

Phoenix saw the second-highest net inflow, 7,394, with 39% of searches by house hunters from outside the area. Las Vegas had a net inflow of 6,702, with 53% of searches made by users outside the city.

Several cities have seen the number of out-of-town homebuyers more than doubled over the last year, the data showed. In addition to Austiin, that includes places such as Bakersfield, California, which had a net inflow of 1,139 in January, up from 407 in 2020, and Bend, Oregon, where the net inflow was up to 1,591 from 755 the previous year.

“Many of these buyers are benefiting from their companies’ remote work policy and moving to central Oregon because home prices pale in comparison to a place like the Bay Area,” Bend Redfin agent Amy Mora said in the report. “[Sellers]—especially retirees—are taking advantage of the hot market, selling their home and moving to a more affordable place like Arizona or Nevada.”

San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles saw the biggest net outflows last month.

In San Francisco, the net outflow was 28,386 in January, compared to 18,451 in 2020. New York saw a net outflow of 26,528, up from 17,197 the previous year, while in L.A., the number was 17,674, compared to 9,794 last year. These figures do not capture whether house hunters from those markets are ditching their urban abodes or even following through on home purchases elsewhere, however.

The report is based on more than 2 million searches across 87 metro areas. Users included in the data viewed at least 10 homes in the specific metro area, and properties in that area made up at least 80% of their searches.

Check out the full Mansion Global article, click here!

Joyce Rey
With Me
Whether it's buying your dream home or selling your current one, Joyce Rey is here to help.