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More Americans are relocating than ever before as rising mortgage rates, record home prices, and remote work flexibility drive up popularity in rare markets still offering relative affordability. The Sun Belt region is attracting the largest share of newcomers fleeing pricey metros for warm weather and low housing costs, but as regional demand surges in the nation’s top markets, prices are rising quickly, and locals are struggling to keep up.

Miami was the top destination for migrating homebuyers in January and February, followed by equally sunny metros like Phoenix, Tampa, FL, Sacramento, CA and Las Vegas, Redfin reports.

The trend has grown even stronger over the last year as remote work has become permanent for many Americans. Net inflow increased from last year in four of the top five destinations (Las Vegas is the exception).

“With out-of-towners driving up home prices in Phoenix, a lot of local first-time buyers have bowed out of the market,” [Heather] Mahmood-Corley said. “They just don’t have the cash to compete, especially when there’s such limited inventory. Oftentimes, the only homes that are both available and affordable are too far out of town for them.”

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