Nashville Lands on List of Popular Homebuyer Migration Destinations For First Time Since 2021

By Published On: November 29th, 20237.6 min read
  • Nationwide, there are fewer homebuyers looking to relocate than a year ago due to elevated mortgage rates and high housing costs.
  • But many of the people who are moving are leaving expensive coastal cities for more affordable parts of the Sun Belt.
  • San Francisco is the top place homebuyers are looking to leave, but it’s seeing a smaller outflow than last year as home prices hover nearly 10% below their record high.

Nashville has made it onto Redfin’s list of top migration destinations for the first time since 2021. It was the ninth-most popular destination for homebuyers looking to relocate to a new metro area in October, with people most commonly moving in from Los Angeles.

Popularity is determined by net inflow, a measure of how many more Redfin.com users looked to move into an area than leave from August 2023 through October 2023. 

“A lot of Nashville locals have been priced out of homeownership, but when you’re coming from somewhere like California or New York, housing prices here still seem reasonable,” said local Redfin Premier real estate agent Kristin Sanchez. “Nashville has relatively low property taxes, insurance costs and utility prices, along with no state income tax, all of which definitely help if you’re looking for a lower cost of living.”

The typical home that sold in Nashville in October went for $448,910, roughly half the cost of the typical home in Los Angeles ($880,000).

Sanchez said a lot of her clients are from California, but she has also been working with people from Chicago, New York and Florida. In addition to people moving to Nashville in search of affordability, some buyers are relocating for work.

Sacramento was the most popular migration destination in October

Sacramento, CA was the most popular destination for homebuyers looking to move to a new metro area in October. The typical home that sold there in October went for $578,000, roughly a million dollars less than the $1.5 million typical home in San Francisco—the most popular origin of buyers moving to Sacramento. 

Las Vegas and Orlando, FL were the second and third most popular destinations for homebuyers looking to relocate. 

Myrtle Beach, SC ranked fourth after making its debut on Redfin’s list of most popular destinations in July at #9. In addition to Orlando, three other Florida metros made the top 10: North Port-Sarasota, Cape Coral and Tampa.

Many of these metros have a few things in common: They’re more affordable than the most common origin of homebuyers moving in, they’re in the Sun Belt and they face intensifying climate risks. Florida, for example, is endangered by hurricanes and flooding, and Sacramento and Las Vegas face risk from high heat. Insurers have pulled out of vulnerable areas in recent months, which could ultimately lead to a decline in home values in some places.

Top 10 Metros Homebuyers Are Moving Into, by Net Inflow 

Net inflow = Number of Redfin.com home searchers looking to move into a metro area, minus the number of searchers looking to leave

Metro* Net Inflow, October 2023 Net Inflow, October 2022 Top Origin Top Out-of-State Origin

 

Sacramento, CA 5,000 7,800 San Francisco, CA New York, NY
Las Vegas, NV 4,000 7,100 Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles, CA
Orlando, FL 3,700 3,700 New York, NY New York, NY
Myrtle Beach, SC 3,700 3,100 Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C.
Portland, ME 3,600 3,200 Boston, MA Boston, MA
North Port-Sarasota, FL 3,600 4,300 New York, NY New York, NY
Salisbury, MD 3,500 2,300 Washington, D.C. Washington, D.C.
Cape Coral, FL 3,400 4,600 Chicago, IL Chicago, IL
Nashville, TN 2,800 2,700 Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles, CA
Tampa, FL 2,800 5,600 New York, NY New York, NY
*Combined statistical areas with at least 500 users searching to and from the region in August 2023-October 2023

Homebuyers are leaving expensive cities including San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles

Homebuyers are leaving San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles more than any other metros in the country. That’s based on net outflow, a measure of how many more Redfin.com users are looking to leave a metro than move in. 

It’s typical for expensive job centers to top the list of places homebuyers are moving away from as those people seek more affordable housing. Homebuyers leaving Los Angeles, for instance, are most commonly moving to Las Vegas, where homes are roughly half the price. 

While San Francisco saw a net outflow in October, it was a much smaller net outflow than a year earlier. That’s likely in part because home prices fell during that time period, bringing some buyers back to the market. San Francisco’s $1.5 million median home sale price in October was nearly 10% below the record high in April 2022.

Top 10 Metros Homebuyers Are Leaving, by Net Outflow

Net outflow = Number of Redfin.com home searchers looking to leave a metro area, minus the number of searchers looking to move in

Metro* Net Outflow, October 2023 Net Outflow, October 2022 Portion of Local Users Searching Elsewhere Top Destination Top Out-of-State Destination

 

San Francisco, CA 25,700 35,700 23% Sacramento, CA Seattle, WA
New York, NY 25,300 22,300 29% Miami, FL Miami, FL
Los Angeles, CA 23,500 34,100 19% Las Vegas, NV Las Vegas, NV
Washington, D.C. 13,600 18,000 18% Salisbury, MD Salisbury, MD
Seattle, WA 6,600 1,600 18% Spokane, WA Phoenix, AZ
Chicago, IL 6,300 7,200 15% Milwaukee, WI Milwaukee, WI
Boston, MA 4,500 7,800 19% Portland, ME Portland, ME
Hartford, CT 2,400 1,100 69% Boston, MA Boston, MA
Philadelphia, PA 2,300 1,500 21% Salisbury, MD Salisbury, MD
San Diego, CA 2,100 inflow of 6,500 29% Las Vegas, NV Las Vegas, NV
*Combined statistical areas with at least 500 users searching to and from the region in August 2023-October 2023

Roughly 1 in 4 homebuyers are looking to leave their home metro for somewhere new

Nationwide, 24.7% of Redfin.com users looked to move to a different metro area in October, down from 25.9% the month before. While that’s the largest month-over-month drop on record, the share remains higher than pre-pandemic levels. That’s because housing affordability has become increasingly strained, meaning that while fewer people are moving in general, many of the people who are moving are relocating to different metros to get more bang for their buck.

This is based on the searches of about two million Redfin.com users who viewed for-sale homes online across more than 100 metro areas from August 2023 through October 2023.

In October, there was a month-over-month uptick in the number of Redfin.com users looking to move within their home metro and a downtick in the number looking to move outside of their home metro, which helps explain why the share of users looking to leave home dropped. 

On a year-over-year basis, the number of Redfin.com users looking to move away from their metro area fell 7.9% in October—the second largest decrease in records dating back to 2017 (the largest drop was in September). The number of Redfin.com users looking to move within their metro also declined from a year earlier, dropping 10.8%, but that is the smallest decline in about a year.

The number of people relocating has fallen in recent months because moving has become more expensive. The 30-year-fixed mortgage rate in October hit 7.79%—the highest level in 23 years—and home prices were up 3.5% from a year earlier. But mortgage rates have fallen in recent weeks, which could prompt more people to move and purchase homes in the coming months.

Below is a map of the most common origins of Redfin.com users who are moving to the Sacramento metro. To view similar maps for the metros in this report and other metros, please visit the area’s Redfin housing market page and scroll down to the “migration” section. 

Map of Sacramento inbound & outbound migration trends

Methodology

Our migration analysis is based on about two million Redfin.com users who viewed for-sale homes online across more than 100 metro areas from August 2023 to October 2023. To measure the share of homebuyers looking to relocate from one metro to another, we calculate the portion of overall home searchers that are migrants. 

A Redfin.com user counts as a migrant if they viewed at least 10 for-sale homes in the relevant three-month period and at least one of those homes was outside their home metro area. For instance, if a Redfin.com user based in Seattle views 10 homes in a three-month period and all of them are in Phoenix, that user counts as a full migrant to Phoenix. If a user based in Seattle views 10 homes in a three-month period and five are in Phoenix but five are in San Diego, that user counts as half of a migrant to Phoenix and half of a migrant to San Diego. If a user based in Seattle views 10 homes in a three-month period, nine in Seattle and one in Phoenix, that user counts as one-tenth of a migrant to Phoenix

The analysis includes combined statistical areas with at least 500 Redfin.com users based in that region and at least 500 users searching for homes in that region. For instance, a user based in Seattle searching for a home in Phoenix counts toward the first condition, a user based in Phoenix searching for a home in Seattle counts toward the second condition, and a user based in Seattle searching for a home in Seattle counts toward both. Redfin’s migration data goes back to 2017.

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