Thanks to the rise in remote work over the last 18 months, for many people, the days of being required to live in the same city as their job may be over. As a result, people are looking to live somewhere else, perhaps more than ever before.
Given that so many people aren’t location-bound by their jobs anymore, they have begun to consider and value other factors when determining where they want to live, like quality of life, population density, affordability, and even taxes.
And it appears that those factors (and more) drove a good number of people out of some of the nation’s largest and most expensive cities and into smaller, more affordable ones.
According to a new report from CoreLogic, the housing markets that saw the most people moving away in 2020 were also the ones where housing is the most expensive.
CoreLogic crunched the numbers and identified the 15 markets that saw the largest “out-migration” in 2020, meaning the highest ratio of people moving away from the city compared to the number of people moving into the city.
According to the report, the housing market that lost the most people in 2020 was New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA, as residents moved away seeking cheaper housing or warmer weather.
“New York lost a good share of its potential homebuyers to affordable neighboring metros, such as Philadelphia, Bridgeport, Poughkeepsie and Allentown, and warmer metros, such as Miami, Atlanta, Tampa, and Charlotte,” CoreLogic wrote in its report.
The next three markets that trailing New York in terms of losing residents were all located in California: Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim; San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley; and San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara.
Rounding out the top five (or bottom five, depending on how you look at it) was Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV.
As for where people are moving to, CoreLogic also looked at the cities with the largest “in-migration,” meaning more people moved there than moved away.
According to the report, the market that saw the most people move there in 2020 was Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA. Second on the list of where people moved in 2020 was Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL, followed by Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC.
The rest of the top-five markets where people moved in 2020 were Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV and Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL.
Common themes among the top 15 markets that people moved to in 2020 were cities with better weather, lower taxes, more housing affordability, and higher quality of life.
For example, seven of the top 15 metro areas with the highest recent in-migration of homebuyers were in Florida, as buyer sought out sunny weather.
Another big factor in where people moved was taxes, as 10 of the top 15 markets are located in states without state income taxes, including Lakeland-Winter Haven, Tampa, Port St. Lucie, Jacksonville, Daytona Beach, Fort Myers, and Sarasota in Florida, along with Las Vegas, San Antonio and Dallas.
“The pandemic created a perfect recipe for consistently employed Americans,” said Archana Pradhan, CoreLogic’s principal economist. “If it had been any other mix of events, for example, if low housing inventory was coupled with job inflexibility, we wouldn’t have had such a large group of homebuying consumers feeling empowered to make bold moves in their living situations.”
Here are the 15 markets that saw the most people move away in 2020:
- New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ-PA
- Los Angeles-Long Beach-Anaheim, CA
- San Francisco-Oakland-Berkeley, CA
- San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, CA
- Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV
- Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL
- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
- Boston-Cambridge-Newton, MA-NH
- Chicago-Naperville-Elgin, IL-IN-WI
- San Diego-Chula Vista-Carlsbad, CA
- Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL
- Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, CO
- Salt Lake City, UT
- Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, OR-WA
- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, MN-WI
And here are the 15 markets that saw the most people move in 2020:
- Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA
- Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL
- Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC
- Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise, NV
- Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
- Port St. Lucie, FL
- Jacksonville, FL
- San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX
- Deltona-Daytona Beach-Ormond Beach, FL
- Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington, TX
- Stockton, CA
- Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL
- Phoenix-Mesa-Chandler, AZ
- North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL
- Greeley, CO
“Whether it’s to spend more time in the sun, find a cheaper home or add space to build a life, people are moving to fulfill desires that run down to the core of their fundamental needs,” CoreLogic said in its report. “Ultimately, these patterns are about gaining safety in economic security and rekindling a sense of wellbeing in place that can support work, fun and play.”