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Americans Relocating for Extra Living Space, Affordability. But Where To?

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Housing Markets

Americans Relocating for Extra Living Space, Affordability. But Where To?

Rather than sticking around their hometowns and waiting for home prices to drop, renters and buyers are moving to new cities to find more affordable housing options

August 8, 2022
Residential homes surrounded by water in Cape Coral, Florida
Image: Stock.adobe.com

Rising mortgage rates coupled with general inflation are forcing a growing number of buyers to put off home purchases and to instead try their luck in a fast-paced rental market. Others are relocating to new cities to find more affordable options, but where exactly are they going?

During the second quarter of 2022, 32.5% of Redfin buyers searched for homes in another metropolitan area, with the highest share centering their home searches on Cape Coral, Fla. and North Port, Fla., The New York Times reports. On the contrary, pricey cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington, D.C are seeing the greatest outflow of residents seeking affordability and more space elsewhere.

During the first quarter of 2020, 26 percent of potential buyers on the platform were searching in another metropolitan area. By the second quarter of  2021, out-of-town searches  reached 31.5 percent. After leveling off a bit, the upward arc of long-distance searches rebounded, reaching a new high in the second quarter of 2022, when 32.5 percent of Redfin searches were from out-of-town buyers.

Of the more than 100 metropolitan areas covered in Redfin’s study, Cape Coral, Fla., had the highest percentage of buyers searching from out of town, with the greatest number of them originating in Chicago. North Port, Fla., about an hour north of Cape Coral, had the next highest share of interested buyers from out of town, also with the largest share from Chicago. 

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