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A record high 32.4% of house hunters eyed a move to a different metro area in January 2022, up from 31.5% in the first quarter of 2021 and significantly higher than just a quarter of migrating respondents pre-pandemic. Remote work opportunities and low mortgage rates have opened a door to affordability for many Americans, allowing movers to compete for homes in regional markets where they may not have considered living just two years ago.

As mortgage rates steadily rise and rental prices reach unprecedented highs, Americans with constricted budgets will be more inclined to relocate in the coming months to secure affordable housing before being entirely priced out of heated market. Miami saw the largest share of new arrivals in 2021, followed by popular metros like Phoenix and Tampa, where warmer weather and comparative affordability are attracting droves of remote workers from pricey northern markets.

“While Sun Belt cities like Miami and Phoenix aren’t likely to lose their luster anytime soon, rising prices may soon render them slightly less popular for relocators,” [Daryl] Fairweather said. “Home prices–and the costs of other goods and services–are skyrocketing in a lot of these destinations precisely because they’re so popular with out-of-towners. Some homebuyers who prioritize affordability may start searching in less expensive northern cities.”

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