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Study: High Number of Buyers Still Move State-to-State

In Feb., the number of buyers searching listings outside their state dropped 3.6% year-to-year – but those looking locally fell 14.4%. 5 Fla. metros are top go-to spots.

SEATTLE – The number of home searchers looking to relocate to a new metro fell 3.6% year-to-year in February, according to a report from Redfin – but that’s less than a 14.4% drop looking to relocate within their current metro. And once again, Florida and other Sun Belt states sparked the most interest.

Rising mortgage rates dented buyer demand in general, but it’s had little impact on where buyers wish to move. In some cases, buyers moving from high-cost metros, such as the San Francisco Bay area, can compensate for higher interest rates by buying a home in less costly metro areas, such as many in Florida. High rates don’t impact those buyers as much because they’re getting a cheaper house and possibly pocketing some proceeds from a home sale in a more expensive area.

Additionally, some relocating homebuyers have a non-negotiable reason for their move, such as a better job or to be closer to family. High rates are less likely to deter those buyers than ones simply considering a different house within the same town.

Buyers moving to a new metro

Of the buyers nationwide seeking a home, one in four (25.1%) looked to relocate to a new metro in February. A year earlier, it was 22.9%. Before the pandemic, it was roughly 18%.

For state-to-state movers, five of the top 10 go-to destinations are in Florida.

Top 10 go-to metro areas

  1. Miami
  2. Phoenix
  3. Las Vegas
  4. Sacramento, California
  5. Tampa
  6. Orlando
  7. Cape Coral
  8. Dallas
  9. North Port-Sarasota
  10. Houston

Popularity is determined by net inflow – how many home shoppers looked to move into an area rather than out of that area.

The typical home in popular go-to destinations is less expensive than the typical home they want to leave behind. The typical Miami home sold for $485,000 in February, for example, compared with $640,000 in New York, the most common origin for its incoming homebuyers.

Top 10 move-out metro areas

  1. San Francisco
  2. New York
  3. Los Angeles
  4. Washington, D.C.
  5. Chicago
  6. Boston
  7. Seattle
  8. Denver
  9. Hartford
  10. Portland

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