Migration Patterns Important to Housing Demand

housing migration

We are not talking about bird migration, but rather people migration.

Bloomberg has completed an analysis of U.S. Census and other data and has determined that people are fleeing the New York City area in droves. New York City leads all US metro areas as the largest net loser with an estimated 277 people moving out of the area every single day. This is more than twice the 132 people who left the metropolis one year ago. Los Angeles and Chicago have also seen a triple digit net loss of 201 and 161 residents leaving in 2019, respectively.

These numbers were sourced from 2018 census data on migration flows to (and from) the largest 100 US metropolitan areas.

On the other side of the coin, cities like Dallas, Phoenix, Tampa, Orlando, Atlanta, Las Vegas and Austin all saw substantial inflows as a result of both domestic and international migration. Houston and Miami also saw enough inflows to rank them eighth and ninth, while Seattle rounded out the top 10 and was the only cold weather destination on the list.

Phoenix was the greatest beneficiary of domestic migration, passing Dallas and adding more than 62,000 residents between July 1, 2017 and July 1, 2018. Dallas saw an influx of 46,000 domestic migrants while Las Vegas, Tampa and Austin rounded out the top five.

Why is this important to housing?  Housing bubbles start in areas where demand slumps, causing prices to fall.  In the cities with net losses of residents, there is clearly less demand and those cities are the most likely to face a downturn in the housing market.