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Homebuyers are heading out of town — and this city tops their list

Aly J. Yale
The Mortgage Reports contributor

Moving out

It looks like buyers aren’t sticking close to home anymore. In fact, according to new data, a full quarter of homebuyers are looking to move outside their metro area when purchasing a home.

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Buyers are looking to relocate — especially from these cities

According to data from Redfin, 25 percent of home searchers were looking to move outside their metro area last quarter — up slightly from the same quarter last year. It’s the highest share of relocating homebuyers on record.

The majority of buyers are looking to leave high-cost metros like New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C. Nearly 40 percent of NYC home searchers were looking to leave the city last quarter.

As Redfin’s Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather explains, “Lower mortgage rates have made buying a home more affordable, but not affordable enough for typical homebuyers contending these areas’ sky-high home prices and taxes. The homebuyers who are heading out of town in search of affordability don’t just want to save a few hundred dollars per month, they want to save thousands of dollars per month, and the only way to achieve that kind of cost savings is to move somewhere more affordable.”

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Other cities with high shares of outward migration were Chicago; Denver; Hartford, Connecticut; Milwaukee; Houston; and Detroit.

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Phoenix takes the cake

The most popular spot these relocators were flocking to? According to Redfin’s data, it was Phoenix. Of all home searchers looking at properties in the Phoenix area last quarter, a whopping 33.7 percent came from outside metros.

According to Heather Corley, a Redfin agent in Phoenix, the city has seen an in-flux in out-of-region buyers lately.

“Every buyer that I have helped to purchase a home recently has been from out of state,” she said. “In addition to the usual interest from California transplants, we’re seeing a lot of buyers coming from Chicago and Seattle, too. Usually, the Phoenix housing market slows down going into the summer because of the heat, but we haven’t seen that yet this year.”

Other popular destinations for out-of-towners included Sacramento, California; Atlanta; Las Vegas; Austin, Texas; Tampa, Florida; Dallas; Miami; Boston; and San Diego.

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