DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — When New Yorkers think of moving long distance, they dream of basking in the sun of Miami, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. Chicagoans contemplating a big move and facing the chill of another winter have been looking most frequently at homes in warmer Texas, Arizona, and Nevada.
Those are some of the conclusions to be released Wednesday by the real estate website Trulia.com when it posts its new quarterly Metro Movers report, which it says provides a forward-looking indicator of where people want to move.
The Metro Movers report studies trends behind the 100 million home searches a month conducted on Trulia’s website and determines how many are conducted by people looking to move outside of their current metropolitan area.
The company came up with an index that provides an indicator of where homebuyers and renters want to live tomorrow and what that might mean for local housing demand in those areas, said Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist.
“We wanted to look at our search behavior as a forward-looking indicator of where people will be looking to move in the future,” he said. “Our key measure is whether a metro area has more people from the outside looking for homes there, or more people who are there are looking to leave.”
The first report studies property searches between July 1 and Sept. 30.
It shows that the hot properties in the sights of those looking for homes are in suburbs and neighboring smaller metropolitan areas.
For example, the top search was conducted by people living in the Los Angeles area looking eastward at less crowded and less expensive properties in Riverside and San Bernadino.
Of the top 10 searches, seven indicate that people in bigger more dense areas looking to smaller lower density areas, Kolko said.
Moving from New York City to Long Island, for example. Other tops searches are among folks in Dallas looking at property in Fort Worth, and Detroit dwellers looking north and west to the Warren, Troy, and Farmington Hills areas of Michigan.
Housing demand appears strongest in areas with the hardest hit real estate markets, again suggesting homebuyers are looking for opportunities to capitalize on depressed prices.
The most frequent searches of people looking to move to other areas were directed to Florida, inland California, and Nevada.
The weakest demand, according to the search data, was in Washington D.C., Chicago and Boston.
The top searches for possible long-distance moves appear to be those living in Chicago looking to relocate to the west and southwest, and New Yorkers looking to head south to Florida locations.
Although the data focuses on searches and provides some insight into potential buyer intent, actual deals will depend on improvement in the job market, the willingness of banks to lend, and other economic factors, Kolko said.
The reports will be available beginning Wednesday at Trulia.com.
— Trulia Metro Movers Report – Fall 2011