CHARLOTTE – The Queen City ranked eighth in the United States for the total net gain of people who chose to move to the region in 2021, a new report from Redfin found.

Overall, movers selected what Redfin refers to as “Sun Belt” locations, with nine of the top 10 most popular migration destinations falling within this region, that the real estate brokerage describes as Texas through Florida, which also includes North Carolina and Arizona.

Nationwide, 31% of those who used a Redfin website looked to move to another region, the company reported today.

That’s up from 25.6% in 2019, prior to the onset of the global pandemic.

“Moving across the country is now easier for many Americans, thanks to remote work. That cultural shift is here to stay,” said Taylor Marr, deputy chief economist at Redfin.  “What’s changing is the affordability of the most popular destinations. Some locals, particularly renters who aren’t able to take advantage of rising home values, are getting priced out of places like Phoenix and Austin as the cost of housing and other goods and services go up.”

Redfin: Raleigh ranked 7th for growth of real estate market in 2021

Phoenix ranked first overall on the Redfin list, with a migration gain of more than 85,000 people, the report found.  In that real estate market, the median home sale price in 2021 was $435,200, up 28% year-over-year.

Charlotte, where the median home sale price in 2021 was $357,000, up 20.4% year-over-year, saw a population gain of more than 28,500 people.

A Uhaul study released earlier this year analyzed moving data for one-way destination locations, and found that the Triangle ranked second in the nation.  And a separate Redfin report released earlier this year ranked Raleigh’s real estate market seventh when it came to growth during 2021.

Raleigh, Durham also attractive for movers, and prices increasing

In an interview with WRAL TechWire, Marr noted that there are many attractive real estate markets in North Carolina for those seeking to relocate from another region, including the Triangle.  But due to demand outpacing current supply in the market, Marr noted that prices in these attractive real estate markets continue to increase.

“Demand is strong, people are wondering where the supply is,” said Marr.  “When supply is really tight, buyers have to outbid each other.”

Marr described what is happening in the overlap between the economy and the recovery following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic with the housing market a “confluence” of factors that are resulting in increasing prices in the for sale market and the rental market.

So would-be first-time homebuyers are facing, potentially, two bad alternatives, said Marr.  Either absorbing increasing rental rates and remaining a renter, or potentially overpaying in order to win a bid on a house for sale, Marr said.

Wake County real estate: 3 records smashed in December

How much did the market change in the Triangle?  Marr said that the market in the region is incredibly strong, with prices up about 28% compared to a year ago, equating to about $85,000 of difference in the median sale prices year-over-year.

And, according to Redfin’s website data, those looking at real estate in the Triangle from out of the region are willing to consider higher prices, said Marr.

In Durham, people who are already living locally are searching, on average, for homes listed for sale at up to $442,000.  But those who live outside of the region are searching for homes listed for sale at up to $520,000, or 18% higher.  And in Raleigh, locals are looking for homes listed at up to $520,000 on average, but those from outside of the region are searching for homes listed for sale to 10% higher, or $570,000.

“Almost one in three buyers comes from out of the area,” said Marr, including from the Bay Area, New York City, and Washington, D.C.

Triangle real estate reaches (another) new high with no slowdown in sight

For example, said Marr, consider the interest from potential buyers located in the Bay Area.  In the first quarter of 2020, said Marr, 5.7% of searches on the Redfin website for homes located in the Triangle came from locations in the Bay Area.  Now, 9.8% of searches are coming from people based in that region, Marr said.

Further, said Marr, “migrants are disproportionately looking into the real estate markets within the city.”  According to Marr’s data, 29% of local residents are searching for property within Raleigh’s city limits.  But 34% of those who would be moving to the area from out of the region are searching within the city limits.