Many factors prompt homeowners to relocate — and local laws and politics are increasingly among them. About one-third (32%) of real estate agents report having worked with at least one client who wanted to move for political reasons, according to a new Redfin report.
Typically, housing affordability and proximity to family and job centers tend to rank high on the list of must-haves when choosing a destination to live. But the post-pandemic world, with widespread adoption of remote work, has granted homebuyers more leeway to evaluate where they want to live.
Home shoppers have the opportunity to factor their political preferences into the equation of where they want to live. And a record share of homebuyers relocated to a different metro area in 2023.
Between June and August of last year, 26% of homebuyers were looking to move to a different part of the country, according to a separate Redfin report. The most common migration routes for homebuyers last year were from blue states to red or purple states: San Francisco to Austin, Seattle to Phoenix, and New York to Orlando and other parts of Florida.
Although many homebuyers moved in the hopes of finding a more affordable lifestyle, some were seeking more conservative surroundings. Many red states also tend to have lower taxes and fewer restrictions on corporations, which appeals to business-minded people.
States have drastically different laws on partisan issues such as abortion or gun control, and many Americans report a preference to live in a place with laws that align with their political views.
Andrew Vallejo, a Redfin Premier agent in Austin, has had plenty of experience with clients moving due to politics.
“I know at least 10 people who have moved away from Texas in the last year, mainly because they don’t agree with state laws,” Vallejo said. “They all moved to the West Coast, to blue places where the policies align better with their personal views, specifically when it comes to women’s reproductive rights and LGBTQ rights.”
The Redfin-commissioned survey was conducted by Qualtrics, which interviewed 500 real estate agents from different brokerages in the U.S. The survey was conducted in December 2023.