News and Analysis

New York, Chicago Residents Lead Nation In Moving To Florida
Governor Ron DeSantis signs Florida's 15-week abortion ban into law at Nacion de Fe church in Kissimmee.
Paul Hennessy/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

The most common origins of homebuyers moving to cities in Florida are residents of Chicago and New York City, according to a report released last week by Redfin.

The real estate brokerage firm indicated that two Florida cities — Miami and Tampa — witnessed the highest net inflow of homebuyers in the second quarter of this year, followed by Phoenix, Arizona; Sacramento, California; and Las Vegas, Nevada. Other Florida cities, such as Cape Coral and North Port, are also experiencing surges in net migration.

“Tampa is still attracting a lot of out-of-state homebuyers, coming from places like New York, who can get more for their money in Florida,” Eric Auciello, a Redfin manager in Tampa, explained in the report. “The spike in mortgage rates has priced some buyers out of the market, but it has also helped ease competition and curb bidding wars between locals and out of towners.”

Florida saw the nation’s largest net domestic migration between July 2020 and July 2021, with more than 220,000 people moving to the state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Florida was followed by Texas and Arizona, while New York, California, and Illinois led the nation in terms of numeric decline.

According to Redfin, higher living expenses and surging real estate prices are significant factors behind Americans’ decisions to leave large metropolitan areas. While the typical home price in places such as San Francisco and San Jose is now more than $1.5 million, even as mortgage rates surge above 5%, trends such as flexible remote work are driving urban residents to find more affordable cities.

Quality of life is also a salient factor behind Americans’ relocation decisions. In New York City, monthly felony assaults had risen 15% year-over-year by the end of 2021, while homicides had increased by 42% over two years. Meanwhile, Chicago recorded 797 homicides in 2021 — the highest of any other U.S. city.

Indeed, several multibillion-dollar businesses — including hedge fund Citadel, construction machinery maker Caterpillar, and airplane manufacturer Boeing — are respectively moving from the Chicago area to Miami, Florida; Irving, Texas; and Arlington, Virginia.

“If people aren’t safe here, they’re not going to live here,” Ken Griffin, the founder of Citadel and formerly the richest man in Illinois, remarked earlier this year. “I’ve had multiple colleagues mugged at gunpoint. I’ve had a colleague stabbed on the way to work. Countless issues of burglary. I mean, that’s a really difficult backdrop with which to draw talent to your city from.”


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