The Politics of Housing Preferences 

According to a new Redfin survey, more than a third (32%) of real estate agents have at least one client who relocated solely due to local laws or politics in the past year.

The survey inquired: “Have any of your customers over the past 12 months decided to move primarily because of state or local laws or politics?”

The results may surprise some.

When people are deciding where to live, factors like home cost, being close to family, and being near employment centers frequently take precedence over local laws or political inclinations.

However, since the number of Americans working remotely has increased due to the epidemic, more of them are free to consider local legislation and political inclinations when choosing which metro region to call home. In 2023, a record percentage of homebuyers moved to a different metro region.

Homebuyers traveled from blue states to red or purple states last year, including San Francisco to Austin, Seattle to Phoenix, New York to Orlando, and other parts of Florida. While housing affordability is primarily to blame, several homebuyers relocated to live in more conservative area.

As the U.S. grows more politicized and Democrats and Republicans diverge more on topics like immigration, education, and the environment, state and local legislation and politics have also taken on greater significance.

State laws vary on political issues such as gun control and abortion, and a large number of Americans say they would rather reside in a state where the laws support their own beliefs.

In relation, a lot of Americans would prefer to live in an area where their neighbors share their political beliefs.

Andrew Vallejo, a Redfin Premier agent from Austin, Texas, said he has helped clients move due to politics. “I know at least 10 people who have moved away from Texas in the last year, mainly because they don’t agree with state laws,” said Vallejo. “They all moved to the West Coast, to blue places where the policies align better with their personal views, specifically when it comes to women’s reproductive rights and LGBTQ rights.”

Realtors say that some homeowners are making the opposite move—from blue to red states—for political reasons, even if some of them are doing so because red state properties are usually less expensive. For example, lower taxes and less regulations on businesses are two policies in many conservative states that draw in business-minded citizens.

Some people relocate from blue states to red states in order to live close to others who share their opinions.

Where citizens choose to live should bring homeowners a sense of happiness, safety, and comfort. At the end of the day, we’re all Americans.

To read the full report, including more data, charts, and methodology, click here.

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Demetria C. Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for MortgagePoint (formerly DS News and MReport) with more than eight years of writing and editing experience. She has served as content coordinator and copy editor for the Los Angeles Daily News and the Orange County Register, in addition to 11 other Southern California publications. A former editor-in-chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington, she has covered events such as the Byron Nelson and Pac-12 Conferences, progressing into her freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, Lester is a jazz aficionado, Harry Potter fanatic, and likes to read. She can be reached at demetria.lester@thefivestar.com.
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