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articles about “Metro Movers

House Hunters: Yes on Sprawl, No on Jobs. Huh?

Trulia’s Spring 2012 Metro Movers report takes a deep dive into why people are searching for homes where they do.

Every three months or so, we take a close look at the home searches on Trulia: where are the searchers, and where are the homes they’re looking at? This time around we’re taking a close look at why people search where they do, and we’ve uncovered these two facts:

—-  Most short-distance searches (under 100 miles away) are toward the suburbs or smaller cities.

—- Long-distance searches (more than 500 miles away) are toward more affordable markets with worse job prospects.

People want sprawl and don’t care about jobs? Of course, it’s not quite that simple – but there’s more than a grain of truth in that statement. Let’s start with the short-distance searches and move to the long-distance searches.

Staying Close, But In Need Of More Elbow Room
Over the past year (April 2011-March 2012), 44% of all the searches on Trulia were within a metro area, and 56% were to another metro area (not including searches from outside the U.S.). Of these “cross-metro” searches, roughly one-third were “short-distance” (less than 100 miles away), one-third were “middle-distance” (100 to 500 miles away), and one-third were “long-distance (more than 500 miles away). The top 10 searches were all short-distance searches, with more people looking from Los Angeles to Riverside-San Bernardino than between any other pair of metros. Of these 10, seven are from bigger to smaller metros (e.g., Dallas to Fort Worth) or from a dense urban metro to its suburbs (e.g., New York to Long Island). Here’s the list.

Table 1: Top 10 Home Searches
# Origin Metro Destination Metro
1 Los Angeles, CA Riverside-San Bernardino, CA
2 New York, NY-NJ Long Island, NY
3 Orange County, CA Los Angeles, CA
4 Dallas, TX Fort Worth, TX
5 Los Angeles, CA Orange County, CA
6 Detroit, MI Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI
7 New York, NY-NJ Newark, NJ-PA
8 Newark, NJ-PA New York, NY-NJ
9 Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI Detroit, MI
10 Washington, DC-VA-MD-WV Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD

Note: all of these top 10 searches overall happen to be short-distance searches.

Neighboring metros share many of the same features: they tend to have the same weather, for instance. But nearby metros can differ a lot in other ways. House hunters searching within 100 miles are twice as likely to look at more suburban or smaller markets, where neighborhoods typically consist of single-family homes with yards, than at more urban or larger markets where homes are smaller and more likely to be apartments or condos (measured by density). Suburban and smaller-city markets also tend to have had bigger price drops during the housing crash and lower-cost housing now. However, these places still attract more home searches even when they are just as expensive as nearby urban markets. More than twice as many searches are from crowded Los Angeles to suburban Ventura County than in the reverse direction, even though homes are just as expensive and the housing bust was similarly severe; same with Boston and Cape Cod, and New York and Fairfield County CT.

Clearly, house hunters face a dilemma. On the one hand, people tell us they want the benefits of city living: nearby shops and restaurants, public transit and a shorter commute. But when it comes to searching for homes, they’re more likely to sacrifice these amenities in favor of more space. That’s not just because people love sprawl: many government policies, like interstate highway investments and strict regulations on urban development, encourage faster growth in lower-density areas. When people look from dense cities to sprawling suburbs, it’s partly because that’s where the homes are available at the price they can afford. In the future, people could start looking more toward big cities if baby boomers want to leave the suburbs; if rising gas prices make commuting from the suburbs too expensive; or if government policies become less biased against cities. But for now, people still have their eye on the ‘burbs.

The top middle-distance searches (table 2) include lots of rival city pairs: Dallas and Houston, Washington DC and New York, and so on. Eight out of the top 10 middle-distance searches are in the Sunbelt states – nine if you count Oklahoma. What explains these middle-distance searches? Lower density is still the main draw, as well bigger price declines.

Table 2: Top 10 Middle-Distance Home Searches
# Origin Metro Destination Metro
1 Oklahoma City, OK Tulsa, OK
2 Los Angeles, CA San Diego, CA
3 Houston, TX San Antonio, TX
4 Houston, TX Austin, TX
5 Tucson, AZ Phoenix, AZ
6 Los Angeles, CA Las Vegas, NV
7 Phoenix, AZ Tucson, AZ
8 Dallas, TX Houston, TX
9 Washington, DC-VA-MD-WV New York, NY-NJ
10 Los Angeles, CA Phoenix, AZ

Note: “middle-distance” searches are 100-to-500 miles away.

Going the Distance for Bargains and Warm Winters, But Not Jobs
Long-distance searches are where the really interesting story lies. These searches for homes 500 miles or more away account for 20% of all searches on our site. Of these long-distance searches, 54% are toward the west and 62% are toward the south, thanks in part to all those New Yorkers looking at homes in Florida (table 3). Los Angeles to New York is the only eastbound or northbound search on the list. The top long-distance searches look really different from the top short- and middle-distance searches – and it turns out that people searching for a home near where they currently live are looking for something very different than people looking to move far, far away.

Table 3: Top 10 Long-Distance Home Searches
# Origin Metro Destination Metro
1 New York, NY-NJ Los Angeles, CA
2 New York, NY-NJ Miami, FL
3 New York, NY-NJ West Palm Beach, FL
4 New York, NY-NJ Atlanta, GA
5 Chicago, IL Phoenix, AZ
6 New York, NY-NJ Orlando, FL
7 New York, NY-NJ Fort Lauderdale, FL
8 New York, NY-NJ Tampa-Saint Petersburg, FL
9 Los Angeles, CA New York, NY-NJ
10 New York, NY-NJ Chicago, IL

Note: “long-distance” searches are more than 500 miles away.

A long-distance search is very different from a short-distance search: if you’re open to moving anywhere in the US, you’ve got a huge diversity of places to choose from: sunny, snowy, mountainous, coastal, booming, affordable, old, new and so on.

Affordability matters a lot for long-distance searchers, who are 1.7 times more likely to look for homes in markets with bigger price drops in the bust, relative to where they live now, than in markets that held up better. They’re also 1.4 times more likely to look for homes in markets with a lower price-per-square-foot, relative to where they live now, than in more expensive markets. Long-distance searchers also factor in weather: people are 1.8 times more likely to look for homes in markets with warmer winters than in markets with colder winters, relative to where they live now. Density matters less for long-distance searchers – most people don’t need to move across the country just to find more space.

Here’s the surprise. You’d think that people would search where jobs are plentiful, but you’d be wrong. Most long-distance searchers look for homes in markets with higher unemployment and slower job growth than where they live now. For instance, seven times as many people in Washington DC (5.9 percent unemployment) looked for homes in Orlando (10.3 percent unemployment) than in the reverse direction. Here are other searches where twice as many people searched from the lower-unemployment market to the higher-unemployment market than in the reverse direction:

Table 4: Searches Toward Higher-Unemployment Metros
# Origin Metro (Lower Unemployment) Destination Metro (Higher Unemployment)
1 Washington, DC-VA-MD-WV Atlanta, GA
2 Cleveland, OH Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL
3 Seattle, WA Detroit, MI
4 Oakland, CA Las Vegas, NV
5 Philadelphia, PA Los Angeles, CA
6 Boston, MA Orlando, FL
7 Minneapolis-Saint Paul, MN-WI Phoenix, AZ
8 Chicago, IL Riverside-San Bernardino, CA
9 Baltimore, MD Tampa-Saint Petersburg, FL
10 Long Island, NY Tampa-Saint Petersburg, FL

Note: listed in alphabetical order of destination metro. Each pair has at least twice as many searches toward the destination metro than in the reverse direction, and the destination metro has an unemployment rate at least two points higher than the origin metro. Unemployment rate is averaged over 2011 plus first two months of 2012.

People aren’t masochists: they’re not looking to move in order to be unemployed. Rather, they are looking primarily for affordable, warm locations, and those locations happen to have much higher unemployment rates than other markets do. The relationship between affordability–as measured by home price declines during the bust–and unemployment is especially strong: markets like Las Vegas and Bakersfield may have great bargains, but those price drops went hand-in-hand with job losses and high unemployment. This is true overall: the bigger the price drop, the higher the unemployment rate. And, as a general rule, metros with more inbound searches had bigger price drops and have higher unemployment than those with more outbound searches.

 

Not every search, of course, is by someone who is about to move and will need a job. Retirees, investors and people just looking for fun might not care about the unemployment rate in markets where they’re searching for homes. But the rest of us probably need a job wherever we’re moving. Few metros have bargains (big price drops) AND a low unemployment rate. Phoenix, Tucson and Fort Lauderdale almost fit the bill: they saw big price drops yet unemployment remains lower than other metros where prices plummeted.

Bottom line: if you’re making a big move and looking at markets across the country, don’t ignore the job market. Unless you’re retired, buying an investment property, or are expecting to live off your Facebook shares, remember that markets with great housing deals tend to have higher unemployment. If you still have to work for a living, you should know what the job market looks like before you plan your next move.

Editor’s note: discussion of metros with large price drops from peak revised 5/24/12.

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Best-Kept Secret Neighborhoods Across America

Where are the locals looking? Find out which neighborhoods in major U.S. metros are being overlooked by out-of-town house hunters

Jed Kolko, Chief Economist
February 10, 2012

House hunters typically don’t venture too far from where they live today. Most people look for homes for saleor rentals across town, not across the country. However, more than one-third of searches are to homes at least 100 miles away. And as anyone who’s had to move knows, finding the best place to live isn’t easy — especially if you’re moving to an unfamiliar place.

Using the same analysis behind our Metro Movers report – a forward-looking housing report that starts with where people are today and offers insights on where they want to live tomorrow — we found that out-of-towners tend to look in name-brand neighborhoods such as Tribeca in New YorkBeverly Hills in Los Angeles,Miami Beach in MiamiPacific Heights in San Francisco and Georgetown in Washington, D.C.

But if you’re moving to a new city, maybe you want to find the neighborhoods that locals know but aren’t nationally famous. (Or maybe you’re a local trying to avoid the transplants and carpetbaggers.) These are what we call a city’s “best-kept secret” neighborhoods. They’re not secrets to most local house hunters, but outsiders looking to move in typically overlook them.

To find out which neighborhoods are the locals’ best-kept secrets, I looked at the zip codes within a city where locals account for more search activity than other similarly priced neighborhoods where out-of-towners tend to search. In general, pricier neighborhoods that are more famous tend to get more attention from non-locals. But many of our best-kept secret neighborhoods are pricey, too: many have been recently gentrified or redeveloped, while some have been quietly upscale for decades.

Using this methodology, here’s our list of America’s best-kept secret neighborhoods – we’ve also thrown in pics and links homes for sales (that are in the ballpark of the median list price) to give you an idea about what’s available in each neighborhood.

New York’s Best-Kept Secret Neighborhood: Hunters Point (Long Island City, Queens)
Zip Code: 11101
Median List Price: $695,750
What’s kind of pad can I get there? Check out this 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 1,060 sqft condo at 2415 Queens Plaza North for $699,000.

 

Los Angeles’s Best-Kept Secret Neighborhood: La Brea / Hancock Park
Zip Code: 90036
Median List Price: $959,000
What’s kind of pad can I get there? Check out this 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 1,871 sqft single family home at 800 South Burnside Avenue for $995,000.

La Brea_Hancock Park

 

Chicago’s Best-Kept Secret Neighborhood: West Town / Wicker Park
Zip Code: 60622
Median List Price: $350,000
What’s kind of pad can I get there? Check out this 2-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom, 1,600 sqft condo at 2121 West Schiller Street for $375,000.

Wicker Park_West Town

 

San Francisco’s Best-Kept Secret Neighborhood: Diamond Heights / Glen Park
Zip Code: 94131
Median List Price: $779,000
What’s kind of pad can I get there? Check out this 3-bedroom, 1-bathroom, 1,280 sqft single family home at 119 Joost Avenue for $689,000

 Glen Park / Diamond Heights

Miami’s Best-Kept Secret Neighborhood: Key Biscayne
Zip Code: 33149
Median List Price: $832,500
What’s kind of pad can I get there? Check out this 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 1,320 sqft condo at 200 Ocean Lane for $875,000.

Key Biscayne

 

Washington DC’s Best-Kept Secret Neighborhood: Logan Circle
Zip Code: 20005
Median List Price: $499,000
What’s kind of pad can I get there? Check out this 1-bedroom, 1-bathroom condo at 1401 Church Street Northwest for $474,900.

Logan Circle

 

Boston: Fort Point / Seaport District:Fort Point / Seaport District
Zip Code: 02210
Median List Price: $927,000
What’s kind of pad can I get there? Check out this 1-bedroom, 2-bathroom 1,914 sqft condo at 35 Channel Ctr for $899,000.

Fort Point

 

Houston’s Best-Kept Secret Neighborhood: Spring Branch East
Zip Code: 77055
Median List Price:
$332,000
What’s kind of pad can I get there? Check out this 3-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom, 2,667 sqft single family home at 7527 Woodvine Place Court for $335,000.

Spring Branch East

 

Dallas’ Best-Kept Secret Neighborhood: Greenway Parks
Zip Code: 75209
Median List Price: $448,975
What’s kind of pad can I get there? Check out this 3-bedroom, 2-bathroom 1,768 sqft single family room at 5523 Druid Lane for $478,000.

Greenway Parks

 

Seattle’s Best-Kept Secret Neighborhood: Sunset Hill / North Beach
Zip Code: 98117
Median List Price: $419,000
What’s kind of pad can I get there? Check out this 4-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom, 1,870 sqft single family room at 9209 7th Avenue NW for $425,000.

Sunset Hill_North Beach

 

Philadelphia’s Best-Kept Secret Neighborhood: Bella Vista / Southwark
Zip Code: 19147
Median List Price:$320,000
What’s kind of pad can I get there? Check out this 1-bedroom, 2-bathroom, 946 sqft condo at 712 South 12th Street for $304,900

Bella Vista_Southwark

 

Atlanta’s Best-Kept Secret Neighborhood: Virginia-Highland
Zip Code: 30306
Median List Price: $385,000
What’s kind of pad can I get there? Check out this 3-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom, single family home at 1225 Carol Lane NE for $339,900.

Virginia-Highland

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Where Are House Hunters Searching? Visualization Preview

Check out the full infographic

Where Are House Hunters Searching?

More than 1 in 3 home searches cross state lines. Trulia's Metro Movers report reveals where these house hunters are looking to move into and move out of.

the Trulia Trends team
February 2, 2012

About three months ago, the data geniuses at Trulia kick started a never before seen housing report that starts with where people live today and where they want to live tomorrow. We dubbed it the “Metro Movers Report” because it’s a quick-and-dirty analysis of house hunting activity between people living in one metro area and homes located in another.

Well, we’re going to revisit this study today (specifically looking at all the home searches on Trulia.com that happened in the last three months of 2011) and give you the inside scoop on where today’s house hunters are headed tomorrow.

Where’s Everyone Going?
We found that more than 1 in 3 home searches on Trulia.com cross state lines. So if that tells you anything, there’s a notable chunk of people looking to move really far away. Meanwhile, everyone else wants to stay somewhat close to where they live now.

To illustrate what we mean, we built a really cool map that shows you from where people are looking to move in and move out. Using San Francisco as an example, here’s how this maps works.

When you click on San Francisco and on the “Inbound Search” button at the top, San Francisco becomes highlighted in black and the top 10 metros with the most home searches to San Francisco are highlighted in blue. If one of the blue circles is abnormally big (relative to all the other blue circles), that just means there are many more home searches heading into SF from that metro than from others.

As you can see from the map pasted below, San Francisco is quite a draw to a whole slew of house hunters across America, namely from Los Angeles, New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Phoenix and Houston.

Meanwhile, if you were to click on New York and on the “Outbound Search” button at the top, you’ll see that New Yorkers looking to get out of New York and its surrounding suburbs prefer to head to Los Angeles, Atlanta, Miami or West Palm Beach.

 

Haven’t You Heard, Florida Is The Place To Be
Call us crazy, but there sure has been a lot of buzz about the Sunshine state and housing. Must have had something to do with the latest round of votes between the last two men standing in the race to find a Republican presidential candidate.

Well, it’s not just the Grand Old Party (GOP) that’s interested in Florida. Turns out, a LOT of house hunters have a quite the love affair with the bargain bin homes for sale throughout the state — especially if they live in the Midwest and Northeast. Believe it or not, one-third of all the home searches in Miami on Trulia.com are made by people living far, far away (think 500+ miles away). See for yourself.

But here’s an interesting factoid. Of the top 10 metro areas where there are more homes searches by out-of-towners looking to move in than home searches by locals looking to get out of dodge, 7 are in Florida. That’s right, there are more people looking to move to America’s retirement capital than leave. We kid you not.

Where Demand Among Online House Hunters Is Strongest
# U.S. Metropolitan Area # of Inbound Searches Per Outbound Search
1 Palm Bay-Melbourne-Titusville, FL 8.80
2 Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL 7.60
3 North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, FL 6.62
4 Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL 2.59
5 Tulsa, OK 2.48
6 West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, FL 2.46
7 Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, FL 2.44
8 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 2.43
9 Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, SC 2.40
10 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 2.30

NOTE: The inbound-to-outbound ratio for a metro area divides the number of incoming property searches by out-of-towners by the number of outgoing property searches by locals looking to leave. A ratio of 2 means that there are twice as many home searches by people looking to move in than leave.

To check out all the cool trends that we uncovered this time around, click through the slideshow below.

To learn more, here’s the full press release.

 

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Going the Distance…or Not?

Of all the cross-metro home searches happening on Trulia, 63% are for digs in Suburbia (err… lower density, more sprawling areas)

the Trulia Trends team
November 16, 2011

Taking a page from “Back to the Future,” the data geniuses at Trulia have created a never before seen housing study that starts with where people are today and gives you the inside scoop on where they want to live tomorrow. That’s right folks, we’re gazing into the future of housing demand and here’s what we see.

I’m Gonna Move to the Outskirts of Town
True or false – creating more jobs in an area means that more people will want to buy homes in that area. Believe it or not, the answer is false. While having a job will make a prospective homebuyer more willing to settle down, it doesn’t mean he or she will do so in the exact same place where they work.

Let’s face it, city living ain’t cheap and most people would rather get a better bang for their buck when it comes to real estate. Compared to big cities where rents are getting ridiculous and home prices are up the wazoo, suburbia offers cheaper living and a lot of more living space. As we shared in a previous post, 59% of all the home searches on Trulia happen outside a house hunter’s current metro area. Check out these top cross-metro searches…notice how close they all are?

Top 10 Cross-Metro Searches

# FROM – Where People Are Today: TO – Where People Want To Move Next:
1 Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA
2 New York-White Plains, NY-NJ Long Island, NY
3 Orange County, CA Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA
4 Dallas, TX Fort Worth, TX
5 Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA Orange County, CA
6 Detroit, MI Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI
7 New York-White Plains, NY-NJ Newark, NJ
8 Newark, NJ New York-White Plains, NY-NJ
9 Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI Detroit, MI
10 Washington DC-Northern Virginia Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

But before we move on, a couple of things worth noting here about these cross-metro searches– 56% are for homes where prices have dropped the most since the bust and 63% are for homes in the boonies (err…lower-density, more sprawling areas…to be more accurate).

House Hunters Loving Bargain Bin Homes Right Now
Trulia’s newly-minted Metro Movers Index is a simple way to know where people are looking to move and where they’re not. In a nutshell, we came up with this index by dividing all the house hunting activity by outsiders wanting to move to a metro area by all the house hunting activity by locals wanting to leave a metro. Index scores above 1 means there are more people wanting to move in than leave. Vice-versa, index scores below 1 means there are more people wanting to leave than move in.

To get an idea of which metro area will likely be losing residents and which one will be gaining, check out this heat map. Red means it’s bleeding and things aren’t looking good while blue means it’s the coolest kid on the block and everyone wants to head in that direction.

Trulia Metro Movers Index Heat Map

Now you’re probably wondering – which metro areas came out on top as the most popular and which ones aren’t looking so hot. More likely than not, the former is in Florida and the later is in our nation’s capital.

Housing Demand Strongest in South and Southwest
# U.S. Metropolitan Area Metro Movers Index
1 North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, FL 6.03
2 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 4.36
3 Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, SC 2.25
4 Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, FL 2.15
5 Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL 2.09
6 West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, FL 1.99
7 Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 1.97
8 Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA 1.92
9 Las Vegas-Paradise, NV 1.88
10 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 1.87

 

Housing Demand Weakest in Northeast and Midwest
# U.S. Metropolitan Area Metro Movers Index
1 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 0.37
2 Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL 0.41
3 Boston-Quincy, MA 0.44
4 Salt Lake City, UT 0.44
5 Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN 0.45
6 St. Louis, MO-IL 0.46
7 New Haven-Milford, CT 0.47
8 Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR 0.47
9 Kansas City, MO-KS 0.47
10 New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ 0.49

New Yorkers and Chicagoans Bounded for Sunbelt States
Here’s some good news to the home sellers in the South by Southwest region of the country. Contrary to what you might think, it’s not just a seasonal dream for fun in the sun that’s drawing house hunters from the Northeast and Midwest. In fact, nearly all the top longer-distance homes searches from NYC and Chicago at the end of the summer were to major metros in the South and Southwest. But what’s even more interesting to note is that these searches rarely crossed paths.

New Yorkers preferred homes along the Atlantic coast of Florida, including Miami, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale.

Trulia Metro Movers - NYC Outbound Searches

# Top Longer-Distance Outbound Searches From NYC
1 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA
2 Miami-Miami Beach-Kendall, FL
3 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL
4 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA
5 West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, FL
6 Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, FL
7 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
8 Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL
9 San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA
10 Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meanwhile, Chicagoans have a thing for Florida metros along the Gulf Coast in Tampa and Cape Coral as well as metro areas in Texas, Arizona and Nevada.

Trulia Metro Movers - Chicago Outbound Searches

# Top Longer-Distance Outbound Searches From Chicago
1 Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ
2 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA
3 New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ
4 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
5 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA
6 Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL
7 Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX
8 Houston-Sugarland-Baytown, TX
9 Las Vegas-Paradise, NV
10 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To check out the full report, click through the SlideShare deck below.

Trulia Metro Movers Report – Fall 2011
View more presentations from Trulia

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Moving Far, Far Away or Not Far Enough?

Most house hunters want to fly the coop with 59% looking to leave their metro area.

the Trulia Trends team
November 10, 2011

As Dorothy once famously said while clicking her ruby red slippers, “there’s no place like home.” If there’s any truth to that statement, then why do people move away? Well, one of the top reasons is because of a house. According to the good old U.S. Census, more than 4 in 10 people moved between 2009 and 2010 for a real estate-related reason, such as upgrading to a bigger and better house. Beyond that, people also move for love (this includes getting married and breaking up) and work (we all got to bring home the bacon somehow, right?).

Given this, you would think that most people aren’t looking for a fresh start when they move, just a change of scenery. Surprisingly, that isn’t the case. When we dug into how far people want to move – by examining where people searching for a home on Trulia.com are today and where they’re looking to live tomorrow – we found that 2 out of 3 (59%) house hunters want to pack up and get out of dodge.

So now you’re probably wondering how far is “far” when people say they want to move far, far away? Well, check out this pie chart we made using the data from our study to find out (it is best viewed counter-clockwise).

Trulia How Far Away Are People Looking to Move

Slice #1: Long distance moves (more than 500 miles) make up 23% of all the searches, which means that nearly a fourth of all the house hunters out there are looking for a pretty drastic change…as in goodbye San Francisco and hello New York City!

Slice #2: Regional long distance moves (less than 500, more than 100) aren’t nearly as dramatic, but are still a pretty big change, which is what 17% of house hunters are looking to do. If you’re familiar with the difference between NorCal and SoCal, it’s all California but practically two different worlds…as different as Mark Zuckerburg and Kim Kardashian.

Slice #3: Moving to a nearby city (less than 100 miles, different metro) is kind of like a local move but not. Imagine living and working in San Francisco – you’re just a walk or bus ride away from pretty much everything you’ll ever need and want, but you have a very tiny living space (on average, homes go for about $522 per square foot). Should you then move away to the suburbs in Pleasanton (a town on the outskirts of the SF Bay Area) and keep your job in the city, you’ll likely have more house than you know what to do with (we’re talking about an average $317 per square foot) along with a draining commute and a can-not-go-anywhere-without-a-car way of life. Be it for a bigger house or something else, about 19% of house hunters are looking to make this kind of move.

Slice #4: On the flip side, 41% of house hunters are lifers (someone who voluntarily lives and dies in the same place that they were born) or at least they seem like they’re going to be.

Question to all our wonderful readers: how far away did you go the last time you moved? Tell us in the comments below!

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