1 in 4 U.S. homebuyers want to move to a different city—here’s the No. 1 place they’re looking

With mortgage rates at 20-year highs, more people are looking to relocate from high-cost coastal cities to places in the South and Southwest, with Las Vegas as the top destination.

Nearly 26% of property search queries on online real estate brokerage Redfin.com are for cities where potential homebuyers don’t live, based on data for the three months ending June 2023. That’s the highest percentage since 2017, when Redfin first started tracking migration data.

Homeownership costs seem to be driving the trend, as the majority of homebuyers are from cities with some of the highest home prices in the country, such as New York or Los Angeles.

Based on an analysis of 100 metro areas, the following 10 cities had the highest net inflow of property searches on Redfin’s website. Net inflow is the number of people looking to move into a city minus the number of people looking to leave.

  1. Las Vegas: 5,700
  2. Phoenix: 5,300
  3. Tampa, Florida: 5,000
  4. Orlando, Florida: 4,900
  5. Sacramento, California: 4,800
  6. North Port-Sarasota, Florida: 4,700
  7. Cape Coral, Florida: 4,100
  8. Dallas: 4,100
  9. Miami: 3,700
  10. Houston: 3,600

For all cities on this list, the largest number of potential out-of-town homebuyers are from either Los Angeles, Seattle, New York or Chicago, according to the study. This makes sense, as those are some of the cities where the most homebuyers seemingly want to leave.

Here are the 10 metros with the largest net outflow of property searches, which measures the number of search queries interested in leaving a metro area minus the number of search queries about moving to that same city.

  1. San Francisco: 28,100
  2. New York City: 24,200
  3. Los Angeles: 20,900
  4. Washington, D.C.: 15,700
  5. Chicago: 4,900
  6. Boston: 4,400
  7. Seattle: 3,900
  8. Hartford, Connecticut: 3,500
  9. Denver: 2,300
  10. Detroit: 2,300

The search patterns suggest homebuyers are looking to leave large coastal hubs for cities in low-tax states that have considerably cheaper home prices.

For instance, most out-of-town buyers looking for properties in Las Vegas are from Los Angeles. The median cost of a home in Las Vegas is $412,500 as of June, nearly half the $975,000 median cost for homes in Los Angeles, according to Redfin’s data.

For the purposes of the study, a person browsing Redfin counts as a migrant if they’ve viewed 10 properties in another city over the three months ending June 2023. The net inflow and outflow rankings were compiled based on the total number of migrants.