The coronavirus pandemic has made homebuyers rethink what they want in a home and whether to seek out more spacious digs, according to a Redfin analysis.

As the coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of abating, more and more homebuyers are looking to relocate to cheaper locales where they can afford more space, according to a quarterly study from tech-focused brokerage Redfin.

A record 27.4 percent of Redfin.com users looked to move to another metro area in the second quarter, up from 25.2 percent in the second quarter of last year and 26 percent in the first quarter of this year, the company said in a report on Q2 2020 housing migration trends. The analysis included a sample of more than 1 million Redfin.com visitors who searched for homes across 87 metro areas in April, May and June. Users had to have viewed at least 10 homes in a particular metro area and homes in that area had to make up at least 80 percent of the user’s searches to be included, the company said.

Redfin agents say the pandemic is causing buyers to rethink what they want in a home and more people are relocating to where they can afford more outdoor space and room for home offices, according to the report. The most popular places Redfin.com users looked to move to — Phoenix, Sacramento, Las Vegas, Austin and Atlanta — were comparatively more affordable than the often coastal cities the users were typically located: New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Chicago.

“The factors driving a surge in overall homebuyer demand — low mortgage rates and changes in what people are looking for in a home — are lighting a fire in people who were already considering a move to a different area,” said Redfin economist Taylor Marr in a statement.

“Add in employers’ increasingly flexible remote work policies and the fact residents of many big coastal cities can’t fully enjoy their local amenities, and the people who have long wanted to live in a more affordable area or closer to family are incentivized to make the move soon,” Marr added. “As we enter the second half of the year, I expect more people to move from one part of the country to another as the pandemic continues to influence people’s priorities and lifestyles.”

Redfin looked at metros with the biggest net inflows — where more people are looking to move than leave — and the biggest net outflows, where more people are looking to leave than move in.

Those with net inflows tended to have lower median sales prices than those with net outflows and be in more inland, sunnier locales.

Top 10 Metros by Net Inflow of Users and Their Top Origins
Rank Metro* Net Inflow (Q2 2020) Net Inflow (Q2 2019) Portion of Searches from Users Outside the Metro (Q2 2020) Portion of Searches from Users Outside the Metro (Q2 2019) Top Origin Top Out-of-State Origin

 

Median Sale Price (June 2020)
1 Phoenix, AZ 9,428 8,232 35.1% 33.8% Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles, CA $310,000
2 Sacramento, CA 8,935 6,860 46.6% 42.6% San Francisco, CA Reno, NV $445,000
3 Las Vegas, NV 7,136 5,687 46.6% 44.4% Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles, CA $309,000
4 Austin, TX 6,770 5,403 35.6% 32.8% San Francisco, CA San Francisco, CA $341,795
5 Atlanta, GA 6,680 6,157 26.4% 26.7% New York, NY New York, NY $269,900
6 Dallas, TX 5,605 4,101 27.6% 23.9% Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles, CA $315,000
7 Tampa, FL 4,955 4,178 57.4% 56.4% Orlando, FL New York, NY $259,000
8 Miami, FL 4,279 3,938 27.3% 25.7% New York, NY New York, NY $340,500
9 Nashville, TN 3,616 2,321 35.4% 29.1% New York, NY New York, NY $320,000
10 Charlotte, NC 3,380 2,912 39.7% 40.0% New York, NY New York, NY

 

$289,945
*Combined statistical areas with at least 500 users in Q2 2020

†Negative values indicate a net outflow; among the one million users sampled for this analysis only

Source: Redfin

“There’s an influx of people moving into Phoenix,” said local Redfin agent Thomas Wiederstein in a statement. “They’re coming from areas like California, Texas, Washington, Chicago, and plenty from the East Coast. The cost of living here is a huge driver, but weather also plays a big role with many looking to avoid those cold winters.

“With the pandemic, there are a ton of out-of-towners planning to work remotely who’d like a big backyard and office space, which didn’t used to be so high on their priority lists. They can get those things for around $400,000 here in the Phoenix area.”

Top 10 Metros by Net Outflow of Users and Their Top Destinations
Rank Metro* Net Outflow (Q2 2020) Net Outflow (Q2 2019) Portion of Local Users Searching Elsewhere (Q2 2020) Portion of Local Users Searching Elsewhere (Q2 2019) Top Destination Top Out-of-State Destination

 

Median Sale Price (June 2020)
1 New York, NY 33,963 35,938 35.2% 39.8% Atlanta, GA Atlanta, GA $520,000
2 San Francisco, CA 31,788 28,210 22.7% 21.0% Sacramento, CA Seattle, WA $1,550,000
3 Los Angeles, CA 17,041 16,190 15.9% 16.2% San Diego, CA Phoenix, AZ $655,000
4 Washington, DC 10,550 7,842 12.8% 11.3% Salisbury, MD Salisbury, MD $440,500
5 Chicago, IL 6,697 4,726 11.7% 10.3% Phoenix, AZ Phoenix, AZ $269,900
6 Seattle, WA 6,007 363 13.7% 11.2% Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles, CA $615,000
7 Denver, CO 4,943 4,117 24.8% 23.6% Seattle, WA Seattle, WA $440,000
8 Boston, MA 2,864 -3,850 11.8% 10.2% Portland, ME Portland, ME $542,250
9 Milwaukee, WI 1,553 1,325 37.3% 38.3% Chicago, IL Chicago, IL $250,000
10 Rockford, IL 911 432 85.1% 79.1% Chicago, IL Madison, WI

 

$143,000
*Combined statistical areas with at least 500 users in Q2 2020

†Among the one million users sampled for this analysis only

Source: Redfin

Email Andrea V. Brambila.
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coronavirus | Redfin
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