Americans have moved from place to place at a nearly unprecedented pace compared to recent years. Among the reasons are the desire to leave expensive coastal cities like New York and San Francisco to less expensive cities and towns inland. This has caused home prices spikes in some of these smaller communities. There is also the perception that the “quality of living” is better outside America’s largest metros. And, the COVID-19 pandemic has made millions of Americans less tethered to the locations of their company’s offices.
One hurdle to moving is home prices and inventories. Amerisleep looked at this challenge in a research report that covered the easiest cities to relocate to. It compared housing data in America’s 200 largest metros and screened for increases in home prices and home inventory between 2018 and 2021. The authors commented: “Cities where house prices have risen below the average, and more houses are on the market, combine the best of both worlds for people looking to start somewhere new.”
The data used for the study were taken from Zillow and the U.S. Census. Cities were rated on a point system. The city at the top of the list was Napa, CA at 5.88. The authors wrote as they compared 2018 to 2021, “The result is down to a 31% increase in the number of houses on sale since 2018 – the highest rate of all areas included in the study. In addition, there has been a relatively low 13% increase in property cost, from an average of $101,872 in March 2018 to $115,575 in the latest available figures. Napa’s current population is 79,246.”
Napa was followed by Abilene with a score of 5.42. Its population was 125,182. Austin was next with a score of 4.85. Its population was 961,855.
On the far end of the spectrum: “Out of the top 200 populated cities that were in the study, Tuscaloosa, Alabama, is the most challenging city for people to relocate to. Tuscaloosa has a population of 99,600 and has seen a decrease of 49% in house availability since 2018.”
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