Homebuyers want to leave San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York

From coast to coast, potential homebuyers are looking for affordability — even if it means leaving their city to find it.

A record number of potential US home buyers are seeking relocation, according to a report published last week by real estate brokerage Redfin. The report ranked the cities Redfin users seem most likely to try to leave — San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York topped the list.

“The typical home in San Francisco or San Jose now costs more than $1.5 million,” Taylor Marr, Redfin’s deputy chief economist said in the report. “Add nowadays mortgage rates above 5% and you’ll get a very high monthly payment.”

Marr noted that the lack of affordability is more challenging than ever for cities, with remote work emerging across vast swathes of the country. Nearly 33% of Redfin users searched for homes in new cities in the second quarter of 2022, up from 26% in 2019 before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Here are the top seven cities seeking to leave potential homes, according to a Redfin report:

  1. San Francisco
  2. Los Angeles
  3. New York
  4. Washington DC
  5. Seattle
  6. Boston
  7. Detroit

Denver, Chicago, and Minneapolis make up the top 10 cities on the list, and together they represent some of the country’s most populous: Minneapolis is the only city on the list with fewer than 650,000 people, according to US Census data.

To compile its list, Redfin analyzed searches across more than 100 metro areas from nearly 2 million users. She collected metrics such as “net flow” and “net flow,” which indicate the number of people who sought to enter a particular city compared to the number of people who wanted to leave it.

According to the report, the cities with the largest net influx are the ones people are most willing to leave. In turn, these cities with the largest net influx may see an influx of homeowners in the coming months:

  1. Miami
  2. Tampa, Florida
  3. Phoenix
  4. Sacramento, California
  5. Las vigas
  6. Cape Coral, Florida
  7. San Diego
  8. Northport, Florida
  9. San Antonio
  10. Dallas

Florida, California, and Texas all have multiple cities on that list—perhaps indicating an American desire for warm weather, especially in the middle of summer. Florida is a particularly popular destination, ranking four of the top 10 slots.

Lots of people search sites like Redfin without intending to buy a home. The company says its analysis ruled out these searches. Marr noted that Redfin’s data typically aligns with US census immigration patterns, an indication of its usual accuracy.

“We believe our data is a strong leading indicator of actual action decisions,” he said.

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