Homebuyer interest in relocating to a new city continued to drop in July after peaking in the first quarter of the year, but three Florida cities bucked the trend.
The Seattle-based brokerage said in a new report that just under 30 percent of its users were looking to move cities in July — a rate that remains higher than it was before the pandemic, but lower than the 32 percent mark it hit earlier this year.
“Despite record-high housing prices, interest in relocating is still well above pre-pandemic levels,” Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said in the report. “That’s because so many people now have the flexibility to do their jobs from anywhere, with many companies starting to establish permanent remote-work policies.”
But in Florida, three key cities posted year-over-year increases in net migration inflow.
The Miami market has attracted an intense round of interest in recent weeks among Redfin users who are seriously considering a relocation from other cities. This led to Miami topping the brokerage’s list of net migration inflow for the first time.
The company based its analysis of migration numbers on the search activities of approximately 2 million Redfin users hunting for homes in 112 metro areas. To ensure the data reflected people who are serious about moving, the brokerage only considered users whose searches were concentrated heavily in a single metro area outside of where they live.
In Miami last month, 7,610 more Redfin users were seriously considering moving in than moving out, the company’s records showed. That’s significantly higher than the 2,216 net inflow posted in Miami a year ago.
Miami has been near the top of the brokerage’s migration list for years, but July was the first time it held the No. 1 spot, according to the report.
Tampa came in fifth in the U.S. for net migration inflow with 4,315 more users interested in moving in than moving out. Cape Coral came in eighth on Redfin’s list after an influx of interest from Chicago buyers drove its net inflow to 3,109 users.
Meanwhile, some of the country’s biggest cities are still seeing more buyers seeking to leave than looking to move in, although the rate this is happening has slowed since last year.
In San Francisco, nearly 39,000 more Redfin users were trying to get out than in, the largest outflow in the nation.
Los Angeles, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Boston rounded out the top five cities where buyers were plotting their exits in July.
New York City’s outflows were smaller than they were this time last year, when the largely shut-down city drove nearly 27,000 more Redfin users to search for another place to live than it attracted new residents. By July of this year, that net outflow from New York City — largely based on buyers exploring a move to Philadelphia — had fallen to approximately 18,000.
The report showed buyers who are considering an out-of-town move are still favoring more affordable metro areas. But the once-enticing prices they had their hearts set on beforehand may be starting to dry up.
“At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a real price advantage for folks who were moving to the suburbs, rural areas and even growing cities like Austin,” Fairweather said in the report. “That advantage has disappeared in many places due to surging home values.”