Politics and affordability are causing Americans to relocate, according to data released Friday by Redfin.
In the first half of 2017, 7.4 percent more people moved out of blue (Democratic) counties than to them, while red (Republican) counties experienced a 1 percent increase. Purple counties, which are classified as counties that share an equal balance of Democrats and Republicans, gained 2.3 percent more than they lost, and swing counties in swing states experienced 1.8 percent more Americans moving in than out.
“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.
According to the data, the shift is caused by two primary reasons: economic and political.
America’s largest urban cities, which are predominantly in blue counties, are less affordable and housing in those counties are less available. The average blue county home would cost a buyer about $360,000, over 62 percent more than homes in red counties, which average $223,000.
“Sure, blue-county incomes are usually higher, but their residents spend on average 32 percent of their household income on rent, nearly 5 percentage points higher than residents of red counties (purple counties fall in between at 30.9 percent), according to the Census,” Redfin reported.
Politics can also be a key reason in where Americans decide to move. A separate Redfin survey reported that 41 percent of recent homebuyers hesitated to buy in areas where the majority had political views different from their own. The report also found that less than one in 10 respondents were enthusiastic about moving to a different political climate, and the remaining half was neutral.
“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.”
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