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Drought Regions Are Seeing an Influx of New Homebuyers—Here's Why

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Drought Regions Are Seeing an Influx of New Homebuyers—Here's Why

Homebuyers undaunted by severe droughts are heading to at-risk metros like Los Angeles and Las Vegas en masse

September 1, 2022
Los Angeles skyline seem from distance in dry forest experiencing drought
Image: Stock.adobe.com

Roughly 74% of U.S. metros where more than half of homes experienced intense drought in August have seen more people move in than out in 2022, according to Redfin. In 34 of the 129 metros analyzed by Redfin,  more than 50% of homes experienced intense drought in mid-August, but 25 of those 34 metros still saw net inflows in the second quarter. 

Unfazed by climate risks and attracted by affordability, incomers flocked to popular cities such as Los Angeles, San Jose, Calif., and New York City, all of which are in the throes of an intense summer drought. Buyers also relocated to Sun Belt metros such as Las Vegas, Bakersfield, Calif., and Austin, Texas, where 100% of homes experienced severe drought in mid-August.

“Many people take climate risk into consideration when deciding where to live, but other factors, like affordability, often take precedence given that rent costs are rising and monthly mortgage payments for homebuyers are up nearly 40% from a year ago,” said Redfin Economist Sebastian Sandoval-Olascoaga. “Drought may also not be scaring people off to the same extent as fires or flooding, which can physically decimate homes. Still, homeowners and buyers should be aware that drought danger could ultimately dent their home’s value if a lack of water forces residents to leave en masse.”

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