San Francisco, New York, LA High Checklist of Cities Individuals Are Leaving

The population of New York City has been steadily declining since 2016. Francesco Riccardo Iacomino/Getty Images

  • San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles are the top cities Americans want to leave, according to Redfin.
  • Other cities in the top ten include Washington, DC, Chicago, Boston, Seattle and Denver.
  • Working remotely means homebuyers are looking to cheaper cities.

San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles top the list of areas Americans plan to leave, according to a new report from Redfin.

The real estate company’s list of the top ten metropolitan areas people are looking to relocate from includes the country’s largest cities, suggesting many are looking to leave the hubbub behind — and high taxes and the cost of living — because of shifts in the flexibility to work through the pandemic.

“Expensive job centers on the coast are usually high on the list of places people leave,” Redfin wrote in the report. “This trend has accelerated in recent years as remote working has allowed homebuyers to relocate to more affordable areas.”

According to Redfin, the top ten metro areas Americans want to relocate from are:

  1. San Francisco, California
  2. New York City, New York
  3. Los Angeles, California
  4. Washington, D.C
  5. Chicago, Illinois
  6. Boston, Mass
  7. Seattle, Washington
  8. Denver, Colo
  9. Hartford, Connecticut
  10. Portland, Oregon

The three largest cities in the US are all on the list. New York City, which ranks second on Redfin’s list, is the most populous US city with a population of around 8.5 million as of July 2021, according to US Census Bureau estimates. The country’s second-largest cities are Los Angeles, with an estimated population of 3.8 million, and Chicago, with 2.7 million, according to US Census Bureau data.

Aside from Hartford, all cities on Redfin’s list of metro areas residents would most like to leave are included on the US Census Bureau’s list of the 30 Most Populous Cities as of July 2021.

Redfin based its findings on how many more users in those areas viewed listings for properties in another area between December and February than the number of people planning to move to that area. The data excludes rental offers and only includes people who want to buy houses.

Census data shows that although California’s population continues to increase each decade, the rate of growth has declined drastically, and more recent estimates suggest it has been declining since the pandemic began. Meanwhile, the population of New York City has been steadily declining since 2016.

Redfin’s data shows that Sacramento was the most popular choice for people in San Francisco looking at deals outside of the metro area, while Seattle was the most viewed city among people wanting to leave California entirely. For people contemplating leaving New York City, Miami was the most popular city, while for Los Angeles it was Las Vegas.

Overall, according to Redfin’s report, Miami is the metro area where most homebuyers want to move, followed by Phoenix and Las Vegas. Five cities in Florida and two in Texas make up the top ten. The list of cities Americans plan to leave is more diverse, with nine states.

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