According to the Redfin Migration Report, migration trend has reached a record high as one in four people searching for a home is looking to change metros. Twenty-five percent of home searchers looked to move to another metro area in the fourth quarter of 2018, up from 23 percent the year before.
Nationally, the share of home searchers looking to relocate has been increasing at a steady pace since early 2017, and currently sits at its highest level on record since Redfin began tracking migration trends. The analysis is based on a sample of more than 1 million Redfin.com users who searched for homes across 87 metro areas from October through December.
The metros with the highest net outflow in Q4 2018 are San Francisco, New York, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., and Denver. Net outflow is defined as the number of people looking to leave the metro minus the number of people looking to move into the metro, the report indicated.
Data on outflows reflected an upward trend with San Francisco, New York, Denver and Washington, D.C., outflows up considerably compared to the previous year. Of all San Francisco Bay Area residents using Redfin, 24 percent were searching for homes in another metro, up from 19 percent during the same time period a year earlier.
Denver shifted from modest net inflows and outflows in 2017 to strong net outflows toward the end of 2018—making the biggest move up the list. Redfin found that 24 percent of Denverites on Redfin.com searched for homes outside the area, up from 17 percent a year earlier.
Seattle has reclaimed its migration-destination status with a surge in net inflow and the fifth-most popular migration destination in the fourth quarter, behind nearby Portland and the relatively affordable metros--Sacramento, Phoenix, and Atlanta. However, the number of home sales in Seattle recorded a sharp decline at the end of the year down by 22 percent in December. The search interest still remains high, the report indicated.
"People looking to leave high-tax metros for a city with mountain views and top-notch hiking are more likely to pick Seattle over Denver because Washington State doesn't have an income tax. In fact, the top destination for Denverites looking to leave is Seattle," said Daryl Fairweather, Chief Economist at Redfin.
Read the full report here.