Sacramento draws highest migration inflow for 4Q18: Redfin

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Bay Area adjacency without the exorbitant home prices make Sacramento, Calif., an attractive option for homebuyers, according to Redfin's migration report.

California's capital drew in a net 5,879 potential new inhabitants in the final quarter of 2018. Sacramento's been a top-two destination for inbound migration in every quarter since Redfin started running the report in 2017.

"The biggest thing is the affordability of homes here, especially compared to markets like the Bay Area," Jim Hamilton, a Redfin agent, said in a press release. "The market has softened in the Bay Area, but not as much yet in Sacramento, so buyers are moving here to capitalize on their equity and put a substantial down payment or even pay cash."

Phoenix followed with a net influx of 5,287 prospective homebuyers. Atlanta — which led the country in annual home value growth in 2018 — saw the third highest uptick of all the metro areas with 4,658 users.

The report surveyed 87 housing markets and based its migration flows on the number of people looking to move into a metro area minus the number looking to leave.

"In both Seattle and Denver, prices were growing rapidly in 2017 and early 2018 to the point that buyers backed off in the second half of 2018," said Daryl Fairweather, Redfin's chief economist. "However, people looking to leave high-tax metros for a city with mountain views and top-notch hiking are more likely to pick Seattle over Denver because Washington state doesn't have an income tax. In fact, the top destination for Denverites looking to leave is Seattle."

Conversely, San Francisco had the largest net outflow at 29,122 considering a move elsewhere. New York was second with an outflow of 22,002 and Los Angeles was third with 14,647.

Millennials hold major influence over the country's migration patterns, now that the demographic occupies the prime home buying age range.

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Housing market Purchase Home prices Housing affordability Redfin California Washington