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Taxes, Disasters Among Factors Impacting Homebuyer Migration

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The number of home searchers looking to relocate currently sits at the highest level on record, and Phoenix, Arizona, is once again the top market for relocation searches, according to a recent report from Redfin.com.

Redfin.com reported the amount of people looking to relocate in the Q1 2019 increased to 25%, compared to 23% in Q1 2018.

Net inflow—more people are looking to move in than leave—for Phoenix hit 7,949, which is the highest net inflow on record not only for Phoenix, but for any metro area to date since Redfin began reporting net migration data in early 2017.

The share of homebuyers searching in the Phoenix area also hit a new high of 34.5% in the first quarter, topping the previous high of 34% in Q2 2018. Phoenix re-claimed the top spot from Sacramento.

“So many people are coming here from expensive cities like Los Angeles, San Francisco and Seattle for our low cost of living and great weather," said Heather Corley, a Phoenix-area Redfin agent. "The trend is really increasing lately thanks to strong job growth and companies such as Allstate, Intel, Boeing, Microsoft and Facebook moving to the area.”

"Many of the buyers I work with are moving away from expensive places in California to escape high taxes, traffic, and natural disasters," said Phoenix-area Redfin agent Van Welborn.

According to a recent report by the Urban Institute, homeowners are often strongly affected by natural disasters, having to juggle repair costs and possible temporary housing costs along with mortgage payments. Often, homeowners may fall behind on their mortgage payments and enter delinquency, eventually leading to foreclosure.

Phoenix has sustained a top-five ranking in Redfin's survey since Q1 2017, and has seen its new inflow increase from around 2,500 to 7,949 during that period of time.

The latest migration analysis is based on a sample of more than 1 million Redfin.com users who searched for homes across 87 metro areas from January through March.

Sacramento came in second with a net inflow of 5,987, which is an increase from 4,684 from Q1 2018. Atlanta, Georgia (5,402), Austin, Texas (4,447) and Miami, Florida (4,400) had the highest inflows in the nation.

On the bottom of the list, 26,938 Redfin.com users are looking to leave New York, New York, with almost 34% of users looking to move elsewhere. The net outflow for New York saw a large increase from the 18,549 in Q1 2018.

About Author: Mike Albanese

Mike Albanese is a reporter for DS News and MReport. He is a University of Alabama graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in communications. He has worked for publications—both print and online—covering numerous beats. A Connecticut native, Albanese currently resides in Lewisville.
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