Nearly one-third of Redfin.com users searched for a property outside of where they currently live during the second quarter of 2021, compared to just 27.6 percent who did so the year before, according to a report from the tech-powered brokerage.
That figure has risen well above pre-pandemic levels, as many workers were newly allowed to work remotely and had the opportunity to move to more affordable or spacious locations outside the city their job was based.
“Some pandemic trends are here to stay, and moving to a more affordable part of the country is part of the new normal,” Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said in the report. “In fact, the Biden administration plans to make it easier for Americans to move to a new state by encouraging the FTC to ban certain occupational licensing restrictions. That would make it easier for a teacher, barber or electrician to move across state lines.”
Redfin’s analysis is based on a sample of more than two million Redfin.com users who looked at homes on the website across 87 different metro areas during the second quarter, removing those searches that were unlikely to be tied to an actual move. “To be included in this dataset, a Redfin.com user must have viewed at least 10 homes in a particular metro area, and homes in that area must make up at least 80 percent of the user’s searches,” the report clarified.
The most popular destinations for Redfin.com users to move to included Phoenix, Las Vegas, Sacramento, Miami and Tampa, all relatively affordable metro areas. Las Vegas, for instance, has become a popular alternative to other pricey West Coast cities because of its affordability and attractive weather. Home prices in the metro have increased 18.1 percent in the last year, but the typical home, which sells for about $365,000 is still incredibly affordable compared to the $828,000 it would cost to purchase a median priced home in Los Angeles.
“Las Vegas is attractive for a lot of reasons: Homes are affordable, taxes are low, the weather is warm and now the tourism industry is revving back up, with hotels and casinos bustling once again,” Las Vegas Redfin Agent Marco DiPasqualucci said in a statement. “Remote workers and retirees are flocking to Las Vegas, especially from more expensive markets. If someone sells their expensive house in Seattle or Los Angeles, they can come here and buy a nice, spacious house for over asking price, sometimes even in cash.”
Meanwhile, New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. are the cities that saw the greatest number of Redfin.com users looking to leave the area during the second quarter.
Nearly all the top 10 metros with the greatest number of individuals looking to leave saw a year-over-year increase in local users searching for a home elsewhere. New York, however, is the exception — it’s the only metro that saw a slight decline year over year in users searching outside the metro area, from 35.3 percent of users searching elsewhere in Q2 2020 to just 34.3 percent in Q2 2021.