Domestic migration trends are still following pandemic patterns.

The Bank of America Institute analyzed data that allows it to construct “near real-time” estimates of migration flows. It found that sunbelt cities like Austin and Tampa are still getting an inflow of population. On the other hand, more folks are leaving high-cost larger cities like San Jose, San Francisco, and New York.

Austin remains as the most popular city for net inflows of population, with a total of +5% increase in 2020-2021 and +1.5% increase over the past four quarters.

Home prices are weakening rapidly despite increasing populations in cities like Austin, Tampa, and Orlando. This is because higher mortgage rates that are dampening demand in the near term.

Also, because inflow populations for cities like Austin tend to skew younger, rental demand may outweigh homebuying demand. This would put upward pressure on rents, rather than home prices.

Other notable findings include:

  • Baby boomers have overtaken millennials as the biggest share of homebuyers since 2014. This could be driven by retirement, empty nest downsizing, and boomers’ financial capability during a period of high home prices and interest rates.
  • Boomers hold the greatest wealth across generations at $73 trillion in Q4 2022 and are better equipped financially for home purchases compared to millennials.
  • Boomers tend to prefer Las Vegas, Phoenix, Tampa, and Orlando as migration destinations.
  • Millennials’ favorite migration destination is Austin, which saw an increase of 16%. Cleveland, Tampa, and Dallas saw a 6% rise in their millennial population last three years.
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