An inaugural quarterly report from Seattle-based online real estate company Redfin takes a look at the migration patterns of people across the United States based on their searches for homes on Redfin’s website.
The report is based on a sample of nearly 1 million Redfin users searching for homes in 75 metro areas during the first three months of 2017. Redfin found that one in five users (19.8 percent) were searching for homes outside their home metro area.
A couple of key takeaways have ties back to technology, or at least some of the regions impacted by jobs, growth and affordability related to the tech sector.
The San Francisco Bay Area had the largest net outflow — defined by Redfin as “the number of local users searching for a home in a different metro minus the number of users from another metro searching for a home in the subject metro.”
As home prices in the Bay Area — and other expensive metros — have skyrocketed over the years, those looking to buy find themselves looking elsewhere. And while Seattle may no longer seem cheap to those who live here, it’s still attractive to Silicon Valley workers, as it’s the leading destination (13.9 percent) on searches of those looking to flee the Bay Area. Portland is second at 5.9 percent.
Meanwhile, for the four out of five Redfin users looking to stay within their home metro area, Seattle was near the top of the list of cities where people are looking to stay put. A healthy nine out of 10 (91 percent) of homebuyers in Seattle searched for houses close to home, putting the city just behind Boston (91.6 percent) and Chicago (92.5 percent). At No. 8 on the list, Portland Redfin searchers aren’t looking to flee the Rose City, either (89.4 percent).
The 9 percent of users who have had enough of the rain and whatever else bothers them about Seattle are mostly looking to head south on the West Coast. Portland (13.8 percent), Los Angeles (11.3 percent), Phoenix (7.9 percent), the Bay Area (4.6 percent) and San Diego (3.5 percent) lead the list of destinations searched.
Redfin’s study also found that sunny and southern locations are a big draw, at least when it comes to searches. Sacramento, Calif., was the most popular destination for people looking to migrate away from their home area — driven in large part by Bay-Area residents looking to stay in California but escape $1 million average home prices. Florida and Texas are also popular states which boast relative affordability, strong local economies and job markets.
“Austin (Texas) is the gold standard of healthy migration, driven by its booming jobs market and a vibrant housing market,” Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson said in the release. “In order for cities to attract and keep a talented workforce, win corporate investment and generate tax revenues, they have to prioritize the basics for their residents — ensuring an adequate supply of homes that are affordable to live in.”
Check out this cool interactive map to select a metro area and examine the data for where people are looking to migrate.