People Are Planning to Flee These 10 Cities: Here’s Where They’re Moving

Advertising Disclosure: When you buy something by clicking links on our site, we may earn a small commission, but it never affects the products or services we recommend.

Young couple moving
Ivanko80 /

Americans continue to consider pulling up stakes and moving somewhere new in record numbers, according to real estate brokerage firm Redfin.

More than one-quarter of all U.S. homebuyers — 26% — were looking to move to a different part of the country in the three-month period that ended in August, according to an analysis of about 2 million Redfin users who viewed for-sale homes online. That is up from 24% a year ago and about 19% before the pandemic began.

Redfin notes that higher mortgage rates have resulted in both a reduced number of buyers and fewer homes for sale nationwide. However, among those who are still buying, relocations to a more distant location are more popular than moves within a metro area.

That is “because homebuyers are searching for affordability, and remote work gives many Americans the freedom to move,” Redfin says.

Among the 10 most popular cities for relocations, nine have homes selling at a lower median sales price than the most common place of origin of the homebuyers who are moving in, Redfin says.

Following are the big cities that Redfin users were considering leaving in large numbers — and where they might be headed.

1. San Francisco

San Francisco street car
Tono Balaguer /

Net outflow of residents looking to leave in August: 26,900

Redfin users in this metro who were home-searching elsewhere in August: 24%

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

Redfin says residents who are thinking of leaving the Bay Area most often look to Sacramento, California’s state capital.

2. New York City

Luciano Mortula LGM /

Net outflow of residents looking to leave in August: 25,300

Redfin users in this metro who were home-searching elsewhere in August: 30%

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

Of course, Miami is not the only option for those hoping to flee to a Florida paradise before an approaching winter locks them in its icy grip. For more, check out “The 25 Best Cities to Retire in Florida.”

3. Los Angeles

Highway traffic in Los Angeles, California
Sean Pavone /

Net outflow of residents looking to leave in August: 20,200

Redfin users in this metro who were home-searching elsewhere in August: 19%

Thousands of people in the City of Angels are considering moving to Sin City — Las Vegas.

California also took the top spot in our story “Retirees Are Fleeing These 10 States.”

The rest of the top 10

U.S. Capitol
Orhan Cam /

Here are the other top 10 metros with a net outflow of residents looking to leave their city during August and the destinations they most commonly moved to:

  • Washington, D.C.: 14,500 (top destination: Salisbury, Maryland)
  • Chicago: 5,000 (Milwaukee)
  • Boston: 4,600 (Portland, Maine)
  • Hartford, Connecticut: 3,400 (Boston)
  • Detroit: 2,200 (Grand Rapids, Michigan)
  • Denver: 2,100 (Chicago)
  • Seattle: 2,100 (Spokane, Washington)

Get smarter with your money!

Want the best money-news and tips to help you make more and spend less? Then sign up for the free Money Talks Newsletter to receive daily updates of personal finance news and advice, delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our free newsletter today.