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Redfin Migration Report: Home Affordability Continued to Shape Migration Currents as Homebuyers Looked to Leave Expensive Coastal Cities in the Second Quarter

August 14 2017

The Bay Area, New York and Los Angeles ranked highest for net outflow of home searchers

SEATTLE — Twenty-one percent of users in the second quarter of 2017 searched mostly for homes outside the metro where they reside, slightly up from 20 percent in the first quarter, according to the latest migration report from Redfin, the next-generation real estate brokerage.

The Redfin Migration Report analyzed a sample of more than one million users searching for homes across 75 metro areas during the peak of the homebuying season from April through June. Redfin used IP addresses to identify the metros where home searchers likely reside and compared that to where users were searching for homes.

While 79 percent of home searchers looked to stay in their current metro, several key trends emerged among those looking to move to another metro:

  1. There continued to be significant migration within the state of California, with the most common search patterns being buyers looked to leave the Bay Area and Los Angeles, heading to Sacramento and San Diego.
  2. Several Rust Belt metros saw more than a quarter of local homebuyers looking at homes outside their metro with Chicago being the top destination.
  3. Metros in the South and the Sunbelt remained popular destinations for migrants from expensive coastal cities.
  4. Chicago, Boston and Seattle again had the highest share of residents looking to stay in their current metros.

"Home searches are early indicators of home sales. The migration patterns in our report closely correlate to actual purchases made by Redfin home-buying customers within and across metros," said Taylor Marr, a Redfin data scientist who conducted the underlying research.

"Buyers who can't afford a home in their current city are exploring what is available elsewhere," said Marr. "We are already seeing strong buyer demand and competition in mid-tier cities like Sacramento, Phoenix and Atlanta. As home searches evolve into purchase offers and home sales, we anticipate prices and competition will continue to grow in those markets."

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To read the full report, complete with an interactive data map of metro-to-metro migration trends and full methodology, click here.

About Redfin

RedfinRedfin is the next-generation real estate brokerage, combining its own full-service agents with modern technology to redefine real estate in the consumer's favor. Founded by software engineers, Redfin has the country's #1 brokerage website and offers a host of online tools to consumers, including the Redfin Estimate, the automated home-value estimate with the industry's lowest published error rate for listed homes. Homebuyers and sellers enjoy a full-service, technology-powered experience from Redfin real estate agents, while saving thousands in commissions. Redfin serves more than 80 major metro areas across the U.S. The company has closed more than $50 billion in home sales.