According to a year-end report from Redfin, the share of U.S. homebuyers looking to move to a different metro area in November declined for the third straight month, dropping to 23.9% of all movers from a sample size of about 2 million Redfin users.
This number represents the lowest share in about 18 months who want to pick up their lives and move across their state, or possibly over state lines to find an ideal job or living situation and is down from 24.1% a year earlier and 26% from its record high over the summer.
Overall, homebuying in 2023 was rough for most people due to the fact that affordability was at an all-time low due to severe lack in inventory. There were 4% fewer Redfin.com users looking to move to a new metro in November than a year ago, compared with a 3% year-over-year drop for Redfin.com users searching within their home metro. The slightly bigger drop for house hunters looking to relocate explains why migrants are making up a smaller share of overall home searchers.
Of those looking to move, reasons varied, but it all comes down to a few key datapoints. The first is that there’s less flexibility to work remotely as employers continue to call workers back to the office (and employees resist). The second is that home prices have generally all gone up during the year, giving movers a compelling reason to stay put with their current living situation.
Still, Redfin says, the migration rate remains above pre-pandemic levels of around 19% as some Americans are still chasing affordability. All 10 of the most popular migration destinations have lower prices than the most common origin of buyers moving in.
Looking at the list of top cities homebuyers are moving into, Spokane, Washington, made its debut on the list for the first time, followed by Los Angeles and Portland. Today, the typical home sells for $416,000 compared to the $775,000 seen in Seattle.
For outflow, more homebuyers are leaving Los Angeles than any other metro area in the country. This marks the first time on record it has been the number-one place homebuyers are leaving and the first time in over two years the Bay Area has dropped out of the number-one spot. The Bay Area comes in second, followed by New York. That’s based on net outflow, a measure of how many more Redfin.com users are looking to leave a metro than move in.
Click here to view the report in its entirety.