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New Yorkers are looking to flee the Big Apple — and move to Boston, study says

Craig F. Walker/Globe Staff/file/Globe Staff

Could some people be willing to trade in their Yankees hats for Red Sox caps?

More than a third of New Yorkers are looking for homes outside the city — and their leading potential destination is Boston, according to a study by Redfin.

The study looked at more than 1 million Redfin users’ search history across 75 metro areas in the first three months of 2018. The analysis by Redfin, a real estate brokerage company, found that 34 percent of New York City residents were looking at homes in a different area, and that Boston was the most-searched city. (The New York Post, in its coverage of the survey, referred to Boston as “our city’s archrival.”


Looking to leave tight, expensive housing markets appears to be a national trend: About 24 percent of Redfin users looked to relocate to another metropolitan area last quarter, up from 19.8 percent a year earlier, the report said.

Image courtesy of Redfin

New York isn’t the only area seeing the crunch. After people in tech hubs (think: San Francisco) fled in recent years to more affordable markets like Denver, the Colorado city is now among those likely to see people leave, the report found.

The searches could be a harbinger of what’s to come, according to the study.

“We saw this in 2015 in the Bay Area, when more Bay Area Redfin users were searching elsewhere. By 2016, the US Census Bureau showed San Francisco had lost residents,” wrote Taylor Marr, a Redfin senior economist, in the study’s report. “Now we see signs that Denver and Seattle, cities that once attracted those fleeing high home prices, are becoming unaffordable as well.”

According to the study, more than 10 percent of Bostonians were also looking to get out of Dodge, with the top destination being Portland, Maine. In a surprising twist, the second most-searched destination among Bostonians was New York City.


With tight home supplies in many markets, Redfin said that the typical US home sold in April went into contract in 36 days, the fastest of any month the company has tracked since 2010.

Image courtesy of Redfin

Material from Bloomberg was used in this report.