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Interest in Relocating Remains Elevated, With Nearly 1 in 3 Looking to Move to a Different Metro Area

Phoenix, Las Vegas and Sacramento are among the most popular destinations as remote work allows people the freedom to move from expensive job centers to more affordable areas. 

Nationwide, 31.1% looked to move to a different metro in the second quarter, up from 27.6% during the same time period last year. 

Movement from one part of the country to another started rising with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic as remote work allowed homebuyers to prioritize affordability and living near family and friends above proximity to the office.  Though the people searching outside their home metro slipped slightly from the first quarter to the second quarter, it is still well above pre-pandemic levels. 

“Some pandemic trends appear here to stay, and moving to a more affordable part of the country is a major part of that change.  Government now plans to make it easier for Americans to move to a new state by encouraging the FTC to ban certain occupational licensing restrictions.  That would make it easier for a teacher, barber or electrician to move across state lines. 

The latest migration analysis is based on a sample of more than two million internet users who searched for homes across 87 metro areas in the second quarter, excluding searches unlikely to precede an actual relocation or home purchase.  To be included in this dataset, an internet user must have viewed at least 10 homes in a particular metro area, and homes in that area must make up at least 80% of the user’s searches.


Perennially popular destinations like Phoenix and Las Vegas are attracting even more residents than before the pandemic

PhoenixLas VegasSacramentoMiami and Tampa were the most popular migration destinations of any major metros in the U.S. in the second quarter, meaning they had the biggest net inflows.  A net inflow is a measure of how many more home searchers looked to move into a metro than leave, out of a sample of two million people.

Relatively affordable areas are consistently among the top destinations for people moving to different areas, but they have become even more popular during the pandemic.  For instance, the net inflow of people into Las Vegas jumped in the beginning of 2020 and has remained elevated since then. 

Las Vegas is attractive for a lot of reasons: Homes are affordable, taxes are low, the weather is warm and now the tourism industry is revving back up, with hotels and casinos bustling once again.  Remote workers and retirees are flocking to Las Vegas, especially from more expensive markets.  If someone sells their expensive house in Seattle or Los Angeles, they can come here and buy a nice, spacious house, often in cash.  The market is competitive, but it’s not as tough for folks relocating from places like Seattle or Los Angeles who are planning to pay cash.

Although Las Vegas home prices have risen 18.1% over the last year, the typical home still sells for $365,000 – less than half of the $828,000 median sale price in Los Angeles, the top origin for people relocating to Las Vegas.

Top 10 Metros by Net Inflow of Users and Their Top Origins – Where people are moving to
Rank Metro* Net Inflow, Q2 2021† Net Inflow , Q2 2020 Portion of Searches from Users Outside the Metro, Q2 2021 Portion of Searches from Users Outside the Metro, Q2 2020 Top Origin Top Out-of-State Origin

1 Phoenix, AZ 11,450 9,432 37.5% 35.1% Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles, CA
2 Las Vegas, NV 10,920 7,137 49.9% 46.6% Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles, CA
3 Sacramento, CA 9,910 8,874 47.4% 46.5% San Francisco, CA Reno, NV
4 Miami, FL 9,834 4,245 31.5% 27.3% New York, NY New York, NY
5 Tampa, FL 7,969 4,917 55.4% 57.3% Orlando, FL New York, NY
6 Atlanta, GA 7,773 6,734 24.3% 26.5% New York, NY New York, NY
7 Austin, TX 7,731 6,693 35.0% 35.5% San Francisco, CA San Francisco, CA
8 Dallas, TX 7,493 5,506 28.4% 27.5% Los Angeles, CA Los Angeles, CA
9 Cape Coral, FL 6,477 2,694 75.1% 75.1% Chicago, IL Chicago, IL
10 Orlando, FL 5,532 2,779 54.3% 52.9% New York, NY New York, NY

*Combined statistical areas with at least 500 users in Q2 2021

†Negative values indicate a net outflow; among the two million users sampled for this analysis only

People are leaving New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles

More people moved away from New YorkSan FranciscoLos AngelesWashington, D.C. and Denver than any other metro area in the second quarter, meaning they had the biggest net outflow.  A net outflow is a measure of how many more home searchers looked to leave a metro than move in, out of a sample of two million users.

Large, expensive cities typically lose the most residents.  But the number of homebuyers looking to leave those places was much higher in the second quarter than the same time period a year before as remote work gives many people the freedom to leave expensive job centers in favor of more affordable locales.

For instance, nearly 45% more home searchers looked to leave the San Francisco Bay Area in the second quarter than a year earlier.  Sacramento, where the typical home sold for $565,000 in June, is the most popular destination for people leaving the San Francisco metro, where the typical home sold for nearly three times more in June ($1.59 million).

Top 10 Metros by Net Outflow of Users and Their Top Destinations – Where people are leaving
Rank Metro* Net Outflow, Q2 2021† Net Outflow, Q2 2020 Portion of Local Users Searching Elsewhere, Q2 2021 Portion of Local Users Searching Elsewhere, Q2 2020 Top Destination Top Out-of-State Destination

1 New York, NY 48,535 34,021 34.3% 35.3% Philadelphia, PA Philadelphia, PA
2 San Francisco, CA 45,577 31,811 23.9% 22.7% Sacramento, CA Seattle, WA
3 Los Angeles, CA 33,723 17,068 18.6% 15.9% San Diego, CA Las Vegas, NV
4 Washington, DC 18,143 10,575 15.0% 12.8% Salisbury, MD Salisbury, MD
5 Denver, CO 9,003 4,964 30.4% 24.8% Chicago, IL Chicago, IL
6 Chicago, IL 6,628 6,770 12.8% 11.7% Cape Coral, FL Cape Coral, FL
7 Seattle, WA 6,158 6,021 15.4% 13.7% Phoenix, AZ Phoenix, AZ
8 Boston, MA 4,991 3,046 15.3% 11.8% Portland, ME Portland, ME
9 Detroit, MI 3,265 900 26.9% 22.5% Cleveland, OH Cleveland, OH
10 Milwaukee, WI 3,222 1,554 40.8% 37.3% Chicago, IL Chicago, IL


The Orange County home affordability index has dropped from 25% a year ago, to 17% today.  This is down from 35% in 2013.  Previous market corrections occurred when this index has dropped below 15%.  Your Cypress area home has nearly doubled in value over the past 10 years, and home prices may be reaching another peak. 

If you have been considering a move, now may be the best time to cash in on today’s record high home prices – and take up to $500,000 of your profit tax free?  Give me a call, and I can show how to receive the most profit when selling!

Take Advantage of our exclusive “Free” loan to update your home when you list with us


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This includes, Staging, Repairs, and Cosmetic Improvements. 

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We currently have buyers right now looking to purchase a Cypress home from $700,000 to $1.6 million.

Call Cary direct at 800-944-2441 or email Cary at:  We can review your best options to insure you receive the most profit when selling.

The call, like our Concierge loan service costs you nothing.  And of course our conversations are always confidential.  Let’s talk soon.