BAM Key Details:

  • Over a quarter (25.8%) of homebuyers using are looking to relocate to different parts of the country—up from 23.7% one year ago and the highest share on record, according to a new report from Redfin. 
  • The share of homebuyers looking to leave their current metro area has steadily climbed since the start of the pandemic; about 18% were looking to relocate in 2018 and 2019. 
  • Myrtle Beach, SC joins the top 10 list for relocation destinations for the first time. 

More than a quarter share of users looking for their next home (25.8%) are looking outside their current metro. That’s a 2.1% uptick from one year ago (23.7%) and the highest share on record. 

According to a new report from Redfin, that share has steadily climbed since the start of the pandemic from its 18% average in 2018 and 2019. 


Source: Redfin

So, while fewer homes are changing hands, a larger portion of buyers are at least toying with the idea of moving to a different metro. And, while this is nothing new, most of these buyers are looking at warmer locations with more affordable housing

What is new is the rise of Myrtle Beach, SC to the top ten list of migration destinations

Myrtle Beach, SC, rises to the top 10 for the first time on record

The number of buyers relocating has gone down from a year ago as the number of homes changing hands has fallen to its lowest level in at least ten years. Seven percent fewer users are looking to leave their current metro compared to a year ago. 

That’s still a smaller decline than the 17% fewer buyers on the platform searching for a new home within their current metro. 

And for those looking outside their current stomping grounds, Myrtle Beach has become one of the top ten destinations to consider, despite its high risk of hurricanes and other strong wind-related events—a risk it shares with the four Florida metros also on that list. 

Myrtle Beach currently sits in the number nine spot, with most buyers coming in from Washington, D.C., and New York. Most are moving there for its comparatively warm weather and outdoorsy lifestyle, as well as its relatively affordable homes. Folks leaving pricey East Coast job hubs for Myrtle Beach can get a lot more house for their money. 

The typical Myrtle Beach home sells for roughly $360K. Compare that to over $600K in Washington, D.C., and about $800K in New York. 

This area attracts a lot of retirees, particularly from the Northeast and the West Coast, because of its relatively inexpensive cost of living, low property taxes, golf courses and sunny weather. Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve also seen quite a few remote workers move in, drawn by our reasonably priced housing and year-round vacation lifestyle.

Monica Roman

Myrtle Beach Redfin agent

Florida and Sun Belt metros are most popular despite high climate risk

Warmer and relatively affordable metro areas tend to be more popular with relocating homeowners in spite of the higher risk of flooding, intense heat, wildfires, and hurricanes or other wind-related events. 

Popularity is determined by net inflow—or how many more people are moving in than moving out of a metro. Redfin tracks this as well as net outflow, which it uses to track metros more people are leaving than moving into. 

Las Vegas tops the popularity list despite its higher risk of intense heat. Tampa keeps buyers flowing in (with New York as its main origin metro) despite the high flood risk. 

Florida and the Sun Belt metros typically dominate the top ten list, largely because many of them have housing prices well below those of their origin metros—i.e., the metros people are leaving behind for warmer and more affordable areas. 

With mortgage rates above 7%, monthly payments have more than doubled since early 2022. And with home prices steadily rising, it’s no wonder a larger share of motivated buyers are open to relocating to save money on housing costs.

Metros in the southern half of the country are perennial favorites despite their higher risks of climate change-related disasters (like Hurricane Ian). People keep coming in because saving money has become a higher priority than playing it safe. 

A typical home in Las Vegas, for example, is about $415K—less than half the nearly $1 million price tag for a typical home in Los Angeles, the most common origin metro for relocating buyers. 

For another comparison, the typical Tampa home costs roughly $430K, which is about half the cost of a home in its most common origin metro—New York, NY. 

The top 10 relocation destinations for migrating homebuyers in 2023:

  1. Las Vegas, NV (Top origin metro: Los Angeles, CA)
  2. Sacramento, CA (Top origin metro: San Francisco, CA)
  3. Orlando, FL (Top origin metro: New York, NY)
  4. Tampa, FL (Top origin metro: New York, NY)
  5. North Port–Sarasota, FL (Top origin metro: New York, NY)
  6. Cape Coral, FL (Top origin metro: Chicago, IL)
  7. Dallas, TX (Top origin metro: Los Angeles, CA)
  8. Phoenix, AZ (Top origin metro: Seattle, WA)
  9. Myrtle Beach, SC (Top origin metro: Washington, D.C.)
  10. Houston, TX (Top origin metro: New York, NY)

Source: Redfin

Buyers are abandoning pricey coastal metros for more affordable ones

Based on net outflow, more homebuyers are packing up and leaving San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles than any other U.S. metro—largely because remote work has made it more feasible for them to move further away from the office. 

More buyers now have the option of living anywhere in the country without changing jobs. So, it’s not surprising many are choosing areas with warmer weather (or at least a beach) and lower housing prices. 

It’s why most buyers leaving Washington, D.C. are moving to the Salisbury, MD area. And most of those leaving Boston are looking for homes in the Portland, ME metro. 

The top 10 metros homebuyers are leaving in 2023:

  1. San Francisco, CA (Top destination: Sacramento, CA)
  2. New York, NY (Top destination: Miami, FL)
  3. Los Angeles, CA (Top destination: Las Vegas, NV)
  4. Washington, D.C. (Salisbury, MD)
  5. Chicago, IL (Milwaukee, WI)
  6. Boston, MA (Portland, ME)
  7. Hartford, CT (Boston, MA)
  8. Seattle, WA (Spokane, WA)
  9. Denver, CO (Chicago, IL)
  10. Detroit, MI (Grand Rapids, MI)

Source: Redfin

Takeaways for real estate agents

Whether you work in Myrtle Beach (or nearby) or you’ve worked with clients looking to move there—or to another one of the popular metros on the list above—it’s worth finding out exactly what your buyers are hoping to gain by moving there. 

If you live in the area, you know what you love about the area, as well as what you don’t (as much). So, once you know why a particular buyer wants to become a resident, you can fill the gaps in their knowledge and help make the transition as smooth as possible. 

That could mean anything from recommending a trustworthy mover to pointing them in the direction of the best places to stay until their new home is ready for them. 

Be the agent they’ll gush over when they tell friends and family how their move went better than they could have imagined.