Pattern Shows People Moving to Affordable Political Red and Purple Counties

The average home in a blue county costs around $360,000—more than 62 percent more than homes in red counties

Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(October 16, 2017)

SEATTLE–(BUSINESS WIRE)– (NASDAQ: RDFN) — In the first half of 2017, 7.4 percent more people moved out of politically blue counties than to them, according to a new analysis from Redfin (www.redfin.com), the next-generation real estate brokerage. Red counties saw about 1 percent more people moving in than moving out. Purple counties, where there’s a more balanced share of Democrats and Republicans, saw 3.9 percent more migrants moving in than out.

The trend is even more pronounced in swing states, which saw blue counties lose 9.2 percent more people than they gained, while Republican counties gained 2.3 percent more than they lost.

Redfin analyzed Redfin.com user search data, comparing where prospective homebuyers currently live to where they are searching for a home to buy. Redfin’s user data covers more than 72 percent of the voting age population and is concentrated in urban metropolises, which gives the company a specific and recent look at where residents of blue counties are looking to move. Counties were classified as “blue” if the Democratic candidate for 2016 won by more than 20 percentage points and vice versa for “red” counties.

High housing costs in blue counties are driving this trend. Nationwide, the average home in a blue county costs around $360,000—more than 62 percent more than that of homes in red counties ($223,000).

“As blue counties are becoming increasingly less affordable, we see a great number of residents moving to red counties where they can afford the lifestyle they want,” said Redfin chief economist Nela Richardson. “At Redfin, we see this as a sign of hope for a less divided country, where people with differing views gain better understanding and tolerance of each other through sheer proximity.”

However, politics can be a key factor for people in deciding where to move. A Redfin survey found that 41 percent of recent homebuyers reported hesitations about moving to a place where most people have political views different from their own. In contrast, fewer than one in 10 respondents was enthusiastic about moving to a different political climate, with the remaining half neutral.

While the evidence that people will continue to self-sort by political beliefs is strong, Redfin contends that the housing affordability crisis in the bluest counties is unprecedented. With no sign of a drastic drop in prices anytime soon, there’s an argument that many more people, regardless of politics, will move to where they can buy a comfortable home.

To read the report, complete with data, interactive visuals and methodology, visit https://www.redfin.com/blog/2017/10/migration-patterns-show-more-people-leaving-politically-blue-counties.html.

[Source: Redfin press release]

Contacts
Redfin Journalist Services:
Alina Ptaszynski, 206-588-6863
press@redfin.com

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Categories: Real Estate
Jeff Sorg

About the Author

Jeff Sorg is a co-founder of OnlineEd®, a Web-based vocational school founded in 1997 where he also serves as Corporate Secretary, Chief Operating Officer, and School Director. Sorg holds vocational instructor licenses in Oregon, Washington, California, and Nevada and has authored numerous pre-licensing and continuing education courses. Sorg was awarded the International Distance Education Certification Center's CDEi Designation for distance education in 2008. OnlineEd® provides real estate, mortgage broker, insurance, and contractor pre-license, post-license, continuing education, career enhancement, and professional development and designation courses over the Internet.