The Top 7 Cities People Are Moving to (And Why They’re Relocating)September 11, 2020
Have you paid attention to the news lately? If so, you probably know that the US is in the midst of a significant demographic shakeup. One resulting in mass movement away from America’s largest cities.
Why are people fleeing metropolises like New York City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Chicago? While there are multiple answers to this question, topping the list you’ll find exorbitant real estate prices and high cost of living.
Other factors include exploding crime, out of control homeless populations, and untenable social distancing policies due to the coronavirus. A megalopolis doesn’t prove the best place to live during a pandemic.
What are the cities people are moving to? From Phoenix, Arizona, to Nashville, Tennessee, let’s take a closer look at where people are heading and why.
Fleeing Big City Life
People are fleeing big cities, like Seattle, in record numbers due to high costs of living. That’s not the complete story, though. This mass movement required an impetus, which came in the form of the coronavirus.
Some people have escaped from places like NYC to upstate New York, New Jersey’s suburbs, Pennsylvania, and other locations to avoid COVID-19. In the process, they’ve realized that they enjoy a quieter way of life.
They’ve also come to eschew the frenetic hustle and bustle of megalopolises as well as the expenses associated with living in them. The result? Many people want to permanently walk away from metropolises in favor of smaller cities offering affordability.
Urban Pandemic Nightmare
What’s more, the pandemic made people realize just how vulnerable life in big cities can get. Dense populations, reliance on public transportation, and overcrowded hospitals led to dire situations in NYC.
For people cooped up in skyrise apartments, lack of green spaces felt torturous. In some areas, people started flocking to local cemeteries to get back to nature since parks were closed down for violating social distancing rules.
Others felt too fearful to even risk the elevators in their apartment buildings. Kept from the joys of going to museums, the theater, festivals, concerts, and sporting events, city life felt unforgivably drab to many.
Flight to the Suburbs
In May, home searches in suburban zip codes jumped by 13 percent, doubling the pace of growth in urban areas.
Another indicator of city flight? More than 50 percent of the nation’s largest metropolitan areas have witnessed increased interest in the suburbs.
According to CNBC, “The housing market is staying hot as people continue to flee the big cities for the suburbs.” Many urbanites also report having neighbors and family members in the process of moving to the suburbs.
Besides the pandemic, violent protests have rocked urban areas like Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Chicago, Illinois. Residents are tired of unpredictable protests, autonomous zones, random shootings, and efforts to defund the police.
No wonder suburban housing markets are booming these days. Of course, some cities benefit more than others fromt the influx of residents from places like Chicago and San Francisco.
US Migration: Cities People Are Moving To
As migration patterns in the US change, smaller cities continue to reap the benefits of newfound interest in their communities. People are interested in moving to them due to affordable median home prices, less crime, etc.
The most moved to cities also coincide with some of the best places to raise a family. They include:
- Phoenix, Arizona
- Sacramento, California
- Las Vegas, Nevada
- Nashville, Tennesse
- Austin, Texas
- Tampa Florida
- Reno, Nevada
Let’s take a closer look at each of these destinations. We’ll compare their median home prices, area amenities, weather, and much more.
1. Phoenix, Arizona
Do you want to know what Phoenix’s nickname is? The “Valley of the Sun,” and it’s with good reason. More than 16 million tourists visit this Arizona gem each year to enjoy the incredible weather and 300 days of sunshine.
The city boasts luxurious spas and resorts and cosmopolitan casinos. It has a wide array of great shopping opportunities and a delicious foodie scene. In other words, moving to Phoenix comes with metropolitan amenities but smaller crowds.
The city places a premium on entrepreneurship, typified by its job creation incubator, the Center for Entrepreneurial Innovation. You’ll find myriad co-working spaces and the types of resources that make it a fantastic startup launching pad.
Five Fortune 500 companies now call the city home. They include Republic Services, Insight Enterprises, Avnet, PetSmart, and Freeport McMoRan.
Yet, despite all of these amenities and diversity of opportunity, people love the price tag of living in Phoenix. The median home price hovers around $269,175. And you can get a lot of house for under $300,000.
Where are most people from who choose to relocate to Phoenix? The vast majority are transplants from Los Angeles, California.
2. Sacramento, California
Despite its role as the capital of the “Golden States,” Sacramento remains surprisingly affordable. The median home price sits at a modest $362,400, making it an incredibly attractive place to move for Bay Area residents.
Crime stays low in Sacramento, making it not only an affordable but safe place to raise a family. Unlike San Francisco or Seattle, where drug needles and human waste prove commonplace on sidewalks, Sacramento’s downtown has wide, clean streets.
Average commute times around the city are just 26 minutes, and many picturesque parks line the Sacramento River.
For those interested in fine dining, Sacramento is considered the Farm-to-Fork Capital of the state. That means residents don’t have to give up the fantastic cuisine they’ve grown accustomed to in places like the Bay Area.
3. Las Vegas, Nevada
For SoCal residents looking for an escape, another popular option remains world-famous Las Vegas. Despite this glitzy town’s garish reputation, suburban areas prove not only very livable but also affordable.
Like Phoneix, the city enjoys 300 days of sunshine each year, and winters prove short and mild. Temperatures stay reasonably warm year-round, but the lack of humidity makes it more pleasant than the East Coast.
There’s always something to do in Vegas. After all, the downtown contains luxurious casinos, sophisticated nightlife, and over-the-top entertainment.
Yet, you can still get away from it all by living in one of the city’s many master-planned communities. These areas come with comprehensive lists of amenities.
These features include expansive golf courses, parks, bike paths, jogging trails, and lakes. Many nearby destinations for hiking and recreation also beckon locals. They include:
- Valley of Fire State Park
- Red Rock Canyon National Conservation area
- Lake Mead National Recreation Area
- Mt. Charleston Ski Resort
- Boulder City
In other words, there’s more to Las Vegas than just the Strip. With a median home price of $290,535 and no state income tax, prepare to save serious money with a move to Southern Nevada.
4. Nashville, Tennesse
When it comes to the best places to live, “Music City” represents another option that’s garnered plenty of attention in recent years. The capital of Tennessee, its where the action happens.
Synonymous with country music, the city offers non-stop entertainment and a happening nightlife. It also draws big-name festivals, from music to film.
Considered the “Deep South,” it contains some of the nation’s most delectable restaurants. Think finger-licking good Soul Food and everything in between.
Nashville residents enjoy good eats so much that Travel + Leisure recently ranked the city the 13th “snobbiest” foodie scene in the US. It’s a welcome respite for city dwellers lqith discerning palates.
And when you want to ditch the city for nature? Nashville’s got plenty of that, too.
Besides the city’s many lovely parks, a quick drive brings you to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. One of the most visited parks in the US, it contains a network of hiking trails for individuals of all fitness levels.
Nashville median home prices hover around $289,142, making it an attractive hotspot for people leaving New York.
5. Austin, Texas
Austin, Texas, remains one of the fastest-growing cities in the United States. Every day, nearly 150 people move into the city or its neighboring communities of Georgetown and Round Rock.
From 2000 to 2010 alone, the city doubled in size. And people keep coming to this eclectic hippie haven.
While summers prove brutal with three-digit temperatures and 90 percent humidity, balmy winters make the sweat well worth it. After all, who doesn’t like wearing a t-shirt and shorts in February?
You’ll also find plenty of beautiful green spots in the city because Austinites prize their little slices of green heaven. The city’s greenbelts provide respite from the summer heat and plenty of places to walk dogs and relax.
Because parks and natural areas abound, many Austin residents participate in volunteering and charitable work. One organization spearheading this is Keep Austin Beautiful.
When it comes to entrepreneurship, Austin remains an excellent place to call home. In 2016, CNBC ranked the city the number one place to start a business in the US.
There’s also a vibrant local consumer scene that supports small businesses. From farmer’s markets to flea markets, pop-ups to food carts, you’ll find it all thriving in Austin.
Because San Franciscans continue to flock to the area, real estate prices have slightly inflated. That said, they still remain relatively affordable. The median house price is $401,999, and it remains a hot market.
6. Tampa, Florida
Like Las Vegas, a move to Tampa, Florida, comes with financial perks. Tampa has no state income tax or estate tax. What’s more, the combined tax rate hovers around 8.5 percent thanks to a low state tax of six percent.
Quality apartments at affordable price points abound, and the housing market also proves reasonable. The median house price sits at $251,387. That said, it’s a hot market like Austin, so expect competitive bidding.
Tampa enjoys a temperate climate with consistently sunny weather. Temperatures hover around 70 degrees during the colder months, making for pleasant winters.
The city’s excellent location on the East Coast means your pick of fabulous beaches. These include Fort de Soto Park, Clearwater Beach, and David Island Beach. You’ll also find many gorgeous parks and golf courses.
Since tourists flock to Florida, the city maintains excellent infrastructure and an international airport. These amenities provide easy access for travelers wishing to explore various parts of the globe.
Finally, Tampa represents a culinary melting pot. Those who relocate find everything from Mexican to Indian, Italian to Brazilian, and much more.
7. Reno, Nevada
“The Biggest Little City in the World” is far more than Las Vegas’s smaller neighbor to the north. It’s a hip and happening location that comes with small city hospitality and a vibrant arts scene you’d typically associate with places like Austin, Portland, or Seattle.
As it turns out, Black Rock City’s annual “Burning Man Festival” has had a major impact on the cityscape. Murals and sculptures abound in the downtown area, and the city is jam-packed with museums, performing arts organizations, theaters, etc.
Nestled in the shadow of the towering Sierra Nevadas, Reno boasts an extensive network of hiking and biking trails. In the winter, local ski resorts keep well-groomed trails, many of which are world-renowned.
You’ll also be impressed by the city’s farm-to-table scene and the endless assortment of innovative restaurants, distilleries, and taphouses.
You’ll find green spaces throughout the city and the neighboring Sparks community. Countless dog parks, piers, and hiking trails keep pooches happy. With a median housing price of $403,318, a move to Reno ensures your dollar goes further.
Moving Trends 2020 and Beyond
Are you ready to leave the metropolis behind? Perhaps you want to check out cities people are moving to? If so, you’re in good company.
That said, the prospect of an interstate move can feel overwhelming at first. Bear in mind that impeccable planning can help you guarantee a streamlined relocation.
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