This is the top metro where Bay Area residents consider buying homes

This is the top metro where Bay Area residents consider buying homes

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A home is offered for sale last year in Sacramento. More home buyers in the San Francisco metropolitan area check the Sacramento region for listings more than they do any other destination, a report says.

A home is offered for sale last year in Sacramento. More home buyers in the San Francisco metropolitan area check the Sacramento region for listings more than they do any other destination, a report says.

Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press 2022

When Bay Area residents search for a home outside the region, many of them don’t look far.

More home buyers in the San Francisco metropolitan area check the Sacramento region for listings than any other destination, according to a recent report from real estate brokerage site Redfin. The report, based on an analysis of search trends among Redfin users, also found the Seattle metro area was the top out-of-state destination searched by Bay Area home buyers.

Most searchers in the San Francisco metro area — a group Redfin defines as those who viewed at least 10 listings from August to October — look for homes in their current region. But roughly 11,600 examined homes in the Sacramento metro area, by far the highest count for an outside destination. The metro area with the second-highest number of searches was Los Angeles, which had less than half the number at 4,500.

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Redfin averaged its user counts over the areas they searched. For example, a prospective buyer who looked at 10 homes, five of them in Sacramento and five in Los Angeles, would be counted as half a user each for Sacramento and Los Angeles.

One major reason for the trend, said Redfin real estate agent Ali Mafi, is affordability. The typical home value in the Sacramento metro area was about $563,000 in October, according to real estate listing site Zillow. That’s about half of the typical value in the San Francisco metro area, about $1.12 million.

Homes in the Los Angeles and Seattle metro areas are also less expensive than in the Bay Area, though to lesser extents. Zillow valued the typical L.A. area home at $900,000 in October, or $700,000 for the Seattle area.

“In general, it isn’t something specific about those places that’s attracting people from San Francisco,” Mafi, who is based in the city, said in an email. “It’s more that San Francisco has priced them out.”

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Most people moving to Sacramento from the Bay Area, he added, are working fully remotely or recently took a job with the state government.

But the outflow from San Francisco to the Sacramento area isn’t a recent phenomenon, said Anthony Navarro, founder of Harper Real Estate in San Francisco. Migration data shows thousands of Bay Area residents moved to Sacramento County between 2020 and 2021. And while California’s population declined slightly the first two years of the pandemic, many of the counties surrounding Sacramento grew.

In fact, the Sacramento area had the highest total of home searchers — the number of people looking at homes in the metro minus those looking to leave — of any region for which Redfin had data. About 5,000 searchers were considering moving to the Sacramento area from August to October, with the Las Vegas area having the second-highest total of 4,000 prospective home buyers.

Nearly a quarter of Redfin users in the San Francisco metro area looked at homes outside the region from August to October, according to the brokerage site’s data, a similar share among searchers nationally.

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