People Are Abandoning These 10 Big Cities: Here’s Where They’re Moving

Woman packing for a move
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When home sweet home starts to turn sour, it’s time to pull up stakes and look for more promising places.

During the second quarter of this year, a large number of residents in some of the nation’s biggest cities threw in the towel and decided to leave, Redfin reports.

It’s likely that high housing costs were a factor for a large number of these departing citizens. According to Redfin:

“The housing market has slowed following a pandemic-driven buying frenzy, with home sales falling and supply starting to rise due to rising mortgage rates, high home prices, inflation and a faltering economy. But the people who can still afford to buy continue to relocate at unprecedented levels, largely because surging housing costs are putting expensive metros further out of reach.”

Following are the big cities that Redfin users are abandoning in droves — and where they are headed.

1. San Francisco

San Francisco street car
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Metro’s net outflow of residents in the:

  • Second quarter of 2022: 48,718
  • Second quarter of 2021: 45,703

Housing costs are through the roof in the Golden Gate City, as they have been for many years. So, it’s no wonder that people are leaving, even if San Francisco is arguably one of the most beautiful cities in the U.S.

Redfin says that among those leaving the Bay Area, Sacramento is the top destination.

2. Los Angeles

Highway traffic in Los Angeles, California
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Metro’s net outflow of residents in the:

  • Second quarter of 2022: 40,632
  • Second quarter of 2021: 33,712

An exodus from the City of Angels that began last year has accelerated in 2022. Departing residents gravitate toward San Diego most commonly.

In fact, California as a state has lost some of its luster. Population growth has stalled since 2017, leading to the loss of a U.S. congressional seat — the first time that has happened in the state’s 170-year history.

3. New York City

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Metro’s net outflow of residents in the:

  • Second quarter of 2022: 35,165
  • Second quarter of 2021: 48,731

New Yorkers fleeing NYC are not staying in the Empire State. Overwhelmingly, they are headed to Philadelphia, Redfin says.

But there may be a glimmer of hope for the Big Apple: Unlike in San Francisco and Los Angeles, the exodus from New York City appears to have slowed significantly.

The rest of the top 10

U.S. Capitol
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Here are the other top-10 cities for net outflow of residents during the second quarter, and the destinations they most commonly moved to:

  • Washington, D.C.: 24,492 (top destination: Salisbury, Maryland)
  • Seattle: 18,594 (Phoenix)
  • Boston: 12,493 (Portland, Maine)
  • Detroit: 7,334 (Cleveland)
  • Denver: 5,635 (Chicago)
  • Chicago: 4,769 (Cape Coral, Florida)
  • Minneapolis: 2,795 (Chicago)

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