Atlanta among the top destinations for US homebuyers

by Andrew Morrell

Atlanta remains one of the top destinations for Americans looking to move elsewhere, according to a recent analysis from Redfin. The online home listing company compiled data from approximately 1 million users who searched for homes for sale on its platform in the first quarter of 2019. From these data, Redfin was able to deduce where prospective homebuyers were looking to move to.

In its analysis, Redfin ranked Atlanta the third-most-searched city among users located outside of the metro area itself. Atlanta recorded a net inflow of 5,402 Redfin users from somewhere other than Atlanta, up from about 4,200 at the same time last year. More than 26 percent of searches for Atlanta home listings were conducted by non-local users, with New York City being the primary location of those users.

For comparison, Phoenix posted the highest net outflow number, with almost 8,000 users from outside the Phoenix area looking for homes on Redfin. Those users looking for Phoenix-area listings where primarily located in the Los Angeles area.

Redfin’s search data from Q1 largely mirror conclusions drawn from official census estimates of recent domestic migration patterns. Jackson County, which is part of the Atlanta metro area, was among the top 10 counties in the U.S. to see the biggest percentage gains in population between 2017 and 2018, according to a recent U.S. Census report. Overall, cities and states in the South and West saw the biggest population increases as well as the highest domestic migration inflows, the Census Bureau found, while expensive markets in New York and California lost residents. Redfin’s report covering searches conducted in Q1 2019 show these trends holding steady over the last two years.

“People are feeling more confident about the economy and now feel financially secure enough to make a cross-country move to a metro where their money will go further,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather. “Homeownership may be out of reach for current residents of San Francisco or New York, but there are plenty of affordable homes and lower taxes in places like Phoenix, Atlanta and Austin.”

Further, the Redfin report pointed out that the six metro areas seeing the most interest from nonresidents (New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Denver) each saw an increase in the number of users searching elsewhere compared to Q1 2018. This may indicate the growing importance of value and affordability for today’s class of homebuyers.