Population drain persists in big cities
People aren't moving to big city centers like they used to, even as employers ramp up calls to return to the office.
Why it matters: Affordability is still drawing folks to less dense and cheaper areas, particularly those in the booming Sun Belt.
Driving the news: A new report from the National Association of Realtors showed that major metro areas like New York, San Francisco, and Chicago saw more people leaving than moving in.
- Instead, people fled to cities in Florida, Texas, North Carolina and South Carolina.
- The Miami metro area experienced the largest inbound increase from before the pandemic, which saw gains of nearly 60% in 2022 compared to 2019. Houston experienced the highest move-in rate for 2022.
What they're saying: "Pre-pandemic, we had a different trend. People wanted to move to big city centers," Nadia Evangelou, senior economist and director of real estate research at the National Association of Realtors, tells Axios.
- More people are moving to those cities compared to 2021 but "we're not there yet," Evangelou says of metro areas regaining the population that fled.
Between the lines: Across the board, the report found, fewer people moved last year, continuing a trend from 2021.
- The report analyzed the United States Postal Service’s change-of-address data to spot migration trends.
- Nearly 70% of U.S. ZIP codes posted fewer inbound moves in 2022 compared to 2021, according to the data.
- The slowdown has persisted as droves of people sought more space and cheaper cost of living during the pandemic.