Homebuyers Turning to Smaller Cities for Affordable Homes | Topouzis & Associates, P.C.


August 30, 2017

Homebuyers Turning to Smaller Cities for Affordable Homes


More homebuyers are leaving the largest, most expensive cities to seek out affordable housing in mid-tier cities, according to a newly released second quarter home migration study by Redfin. While approximately 79% of homebuyers were staying loyal to their current locations, 21% looked for homes outside their metro areas. This was a slight increase from 20% in the first quarter, although the trends remained very similar.

Which Metros Were Homebuyers Seeking?

In general, people are moving from larger cities like New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco, in favor of less expensive metros like Tampa, Phoenix and Dallas. Tampa had the largest share of searchers – approximately 46% — coming from other metro areas. The largest percentage of searchers were from Washington D.C., Chicago, and New York City, respectively.

Phoenix and Las Vegas in the Sun Belt and Atlanta, Dallas and Miami in the South were also top destinations for people moving from expensive coastal cities like New York, D.C. and Los Angeles.

San Diego and Sacramento were first and second based on the volume of searchers from other metro areas, most of whom were coming from other areas of California like Los Angeles and the Bay Area.

Which Metros Had the Biggest Outflow?

The Bay Area had the most searchers looking for homes outside the city, with Sacramento being their most popular search destination. The difference in median home prices in the two areas –more than $600k—was a determining factor. The report said the median home sales price in San Francisco was $1.25 million compared to $376,000 in Sacramento.

New York and Los Angeles ranked second and third, respectively, for the volume of searchers looking to leave their metros. Boston was the most popular destination for those leaving New York, while San Diego was popular for those searching for homes outside of L.A.

Detroit, Milwaukee and Dayton also made the list of cities with the most outflow searchers, with Chicago being the most searched destination for these three Rust Belt cities.

What Areas Had the Most Loyal Residents?

The 10 metros where the most residents searched for homes within their own area were, from first to 10th: Chicago, Boston, Seattle, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Nashville, Portland, Dallas, Raleigh, and Baton Rouge.

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