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In Home Searches, ‘New York’s Loss Is Florida’s Gain’

An analysis of 3Q buyer searches on Redfin’s website found 22K more people from other states looked for a Fla. home than the number of Floridians who looked elsewhere.

SEATTLE – An analysis of online state-to-state home searches provides some insight on U.S. migration patterns, and Florida appears to be attracting a lot more new residents than it could lose to out-migration.

Redfin economists looked at the viewing habits of 53,000 visitors to its website in the third quarter of 2020 and found a lot of California and New York residents ready to transition to other states. And at least for New York, a lot of residents have their eye on a new Florida home.

“New York’s loss is Florida’s gain,” says Redfin economist Taylor Marr. “When the pandemic hit the U.S. in March, remote workers started leaving New York City and its ultra-expensive housing in search of wide-open spaces, sunshine and affordable homes – all of which you can find in Florida, with the bonus of no state income tax.”

Marr says the “trend has only intensified as the pandemic continues and people feel more certain of their remote work and school plans.”

According to the analysis, nearly 53,000 more website users wanted to move out of California rather than into it in the third quarter, a 62% increase since the third quarter of 2019 and the highest rate since Redfin started tracking migration in the beginning of 2017.

The story is similar in New York, where almost 47,000 more people searched for homes outside the state than the number who wanted to move in during the third quarter – about 35% more than the 35,000 home searchers looking to leave during the same time period last year.

California and New York had the biggest upticks in people looking to move out of state – minus people looking to move in – since last year, followed by Massachusetts, Washington, D.C. and Illinois.

Nearly 22,000 more website users looked to move into Florida than the number of Floridians who searched for a home outside the state in the third quarter, which is almost double the number in 3Q 2019 and the highest net inflow migration potential for the state since economists started tracking migration.

According to economists, movement into Florida has accelerated since the beginning of the year.

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