8 Popular Cities Where Homes Are Still Surprisingly Affordable

Homebuyers have been going through a tough time, with home prices and mortgage rates rising relentlessly.

As buyers continue to reevaluate where they want to live and move at record rates amid the ongoing pandemic, affordable destinations can still be found, according to a report published Monday by Redfin.

Thirty-two percent of U.S. buyers looked for a home in another metro area in April, just shy of the all-time high of 32.3 percent reached in the first quarter of 2022. Many of those buyers looked to move to Sun Belt markets. , mainly in Florida and Texas.

Redfin has identified eight popular migration destinations in the United States that may still be affordable for shoppers from other more expensive markets, but the reality is that many local shoppers are now locked out of these markets. In Tampa, for example, which was ranked the third most popular migration destination and sixth most affordable, homebuyers need to earn 47.8% more than at the same time last year to afford a median-priced home, Redfin said.

“A lot of people are moving to Florida for the price, the beaches and the quality of life, especially since the start of the pandemic,” Eric Auciello, Redfin team manager in Tampa, said in a statement.

“For a buyer who sold their house in a place like New York for a million dollars, Tampa is affordable. They can get a nice house in a desirable neighborhood for around $550,000. But for locals looking for a $300,000 to $400,000 price tag, there’s next to nothing to sell. Residents are turning to condos or moving to more affordable rural areas.

Here are the eight most affordable and popular migration destinations today.

Virginia Beach, Virginia

Median selling price: $315,000

Migration popularity ranking: 15

Credit: Daniel Halseth / Unsplash

The median home sale price in Virginia Beach in April was $315,000, more than $100,000 below the national median of $424,400.

The coastal market located where the Chesapeake Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean is within driving distance of major cities like Washington, DC; Richmond, Virginia; and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.

San Antonio, TX

Median selling price: $330,000

Migration popularity ranking: 10

Credit: weston m / Unsplash

The Texas river town of San Antonio is Redfin’s second most affordable destination and is well known for being home to the 18th century Spanish mission, The Alamo.

The city saw the largest migration in April from Austin, Texas, where home prices have risen dramatically in recent months.

Houston, TX

Median sale price: $340,000

Migration popularity ranking: 9

Credit: Rome Wilkerson / Unsplash

Houston was a major migration destination in April for residents leaving Los Angeles.

Prices in the metro have not climbed as rapidly as in many other markets over the past year, with prices up just 15.7% year-over-year.

Jacksonville, Florida

Median sale price: $357,000

Migration Popularity Ranking: 13

Credit: Lance Asper / Unsplash

Jacksonville may not land in the top 10 most popular migration destinations, but it’s still accessible to all the amenities that bring people to move to Florida — attractive weather, low taxes, and beaches — while still having affordable housing options.

Bakersfield, California

Median sale price: $365,000

Migration popularity ranking: 20

Credit: LPETTET/Getty Images

California shoppers who have been kicked out of Los Angeles and want to stay within driving distance of the city will find an affordable alternative in Bakersfield, which is just a two-hour drive north.

The city of just under 400,000 is home to a number of museums and offers easy access to trails in the Sequoia National Forest.

Tampa, Florida

Median selling price: $370,000

Migration popularity ranking: 3

Credit: Jesse Adair / Unsplash

Tampa was the only metro area among the top five most popular migration destinations with a median sale price lower than the national level.

Most homebuyers migrated to the metro from Orlando, Florida, but the out-of-state area where most buyers flocked from was New York, New York.

Atlanta, Georgia

Median selling price: $383,000

Migration popularity ranking: 12

Credit: Ben Dutton / Unsplash

Like Tampa, home prices in Atlanta have risen so much in the past year that residents are also facing affordability issues.

To afford a home at the median price in the metro, buyers must earn 40.6% more than a year ago.

Cape Coral, Florida

Median sale price: $419,000

Migration Popularity Ranking: 6

Credit: SARAH GRANGER / Unsplash

Residents of the Windy City had Cape Coral in mind in April, with most buyers moving to Cape Coral from Chicago.

Cape Coral’s median sale price was up 38.2% year over year, but the median price was still attractive to buyers from Chicago hoping to escape the cold.

The top migration destination during April — which didn’t land on Redfin’s affordability list — was Miami, Florida, where the median sale price was $475,000. Most buyers moving to the area were from New York, New York.

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