SOURCE: Trulia


November 16, 2011 06:00 ET

Trulia Launches Metro Movers Report Identifying Where People Want to Live in the Future

Urban Rental Markets Tighten, Increasing Housing Demand for Suburban Homes With 59 percent of Home Searches Happening Outside Current Metro Area

SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Nov 16, 2011) - Trulia today launched its Metro Movers Report -- the first report that starts with where homebuyers and renters are today and provides the inside scoop on where they want to live tomorrow and what it means for local housing demand. The Fall 2011 report examines all property searches on among all U.S. metropolitan areas between July 1 and September 30, 2011.

Falling Home Prices Draw House Hunters Away From Big Cities
Despite having more employment opportunities, the higher cost of housing in big cities has made homes in nearby suburbs and neighboring smaller metros much more attractive to today's homebuyers and renters. According to search behavior on, about 59 percent of properties viewed are outside the house hunter's current metropolitan area. In fact, most of these cross-metro searches are between neighboring metros such as the top search from Los Angeles to Riverside. Still, 23 percent of all searches span more than 500 miles. Of the cross-metro searches, 56 percent are for properties in metros with larger price declines during the housing bust and 63 percent are for properties in lower-density, more sprawling areas.

Top 10 Cross-Metro Searches
# FROM -- Where People Are Today: TO - Where People Want to live Tomorrow:
1 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA
2 New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ Long Island, NY
3 Orange County, CA Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA
4 Dallas, TX Fort Worth, TX
5 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA Orange County, CA
6 Detroit, MI Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI
7 New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ Newark, NJ
8 Newark, NJ New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ
9 Warren-Troy-Farmington Hills, MI Detroit, MI
10 Washington DC-Northern Virginia Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick, MD

Bargain Bin Homes Fuel Housing Demand in Hardest-Hit Real Estate Markets
According to the Metro Movers Index, there are six times as many "inbound" home searches to the North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, FL metro area by outsiders than "outbound" searches by locals. The index is above 4 for the Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA metro area and around 2 for several other large Sunbelt metros. Meanwhile, in the Washington D.C. and Chicago metro areas -- where prices have not fallen nearly as much -- both have an index of under 0.5, which means there are more than twice as many outbound as there are inbound searches.

Housing Demand Strongest in Florida, Inland California and Nevada
# U.S. Metropolitan Area Metro Movers Index
1 North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota, FL 6.03
2 Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario, CA 4.36
3 Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville, SC 2.25
4 Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, FL 2.15
5 Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL 2.09
6 West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, FL 1.99
7 Fort Worth-Arlington, TX 1.97
8 Oxnard-Thousand Oaks-Ventura, CA 1.92
9 Las Vegas-Paradise, NV 1.88
10 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL 1.87
Housing Demand Weakest in Washington DC, Chicago and Boston
# U.S. Metropolitan Area Metro Movers Index
1 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA-MD-WV 0.37
2 Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL 0.41
3 Boston-Quincy, MA 0.44
4 Salt Lake City, UT 0.44
5 Louisville-Jefferson County, KY-IN 0.45
6 St. Louis, MO-IL 0.46
7 New Haven-Milford, CT 0.47
8 Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, AR 0.47
9 Kansas City, MO-KS 0.47
10 New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ 0.49

NOTE: Trulia defines a metropolitan area's Metro Movers Index as the number of inbound property views by outsiders for every outbound property view by locals, based on almost 100 million monthly property views on Index scores above 1 mean there are more inbound than outbound searches, while scores below 1 mean there are more outbound than inbound searches.

New Yorkers and Chicagoans Poised to Boost Different Local Housing Markets in Sunbelt States
More than just a seasonal desire for warmer weather during the winter months, nearly all the top longer-distance home searches from New York and Chicago at the end of the summer were to major metros in the South and Southwest -- but not always to the same ones. New Yorkers preferred homes along the Atlantic coast of Florida, including Miami, West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale. For Chicagoans, the top Florida spots were along the Gulf Coast in Tampa and Cape Coral as well as metro areas in Texas, Arizona and Nevada.

# Top Longer-Distance Outbound Searches From Chicago
1 Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale, AZ
2 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA
3 New York-White Plains-Wayne, NY-NJ
4 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
5 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA
6 Cape Coral-Fort Myers, FL
7 Dallas-Plano-Irving, TX
8 Houston-Sugarland-Baytown, TX
9 Las Vegas-Paradise, NV
10 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL
# Top Longer-Distance Outbound Searches From New York City
1 Los Angeles-Long Beach-Glendale, CA
2 Miami-Miami-Beach-Kendall, FL
3 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL
4 Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta, GA
5 West Palm Beach-Boca Raton-Boynton Beach, FL
6 Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach, FL
7 Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
8 Chicago-Joliet-Naperville, IL
9 San Francisco-San Mateo-Redwood City, CA
10 Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill, NC-SC


  • "Homebuyers, sellers, real estate professionals and builders need to know which local markets will heat up and which will cool off. Search behavior tells us where people want to move and can point to which markets will grow, long before official population data tells us what happened," said Jed Kolko, Trulia's Chief Economist. "With Trulia's Metro Movers Report, we are providing a forward-looking indicator of where people are looking to move and where demand is increasing. This is a crucial signal for anyone with a stake in the housing market -- from owners timing their sales and sellers setting their price to agents looking for prospective buyers and builders looking for their new next location."

  • "Since the housing bubble burst, home prices in cities throughout Florida, Nevada and Inland California have fallen by half or more. A glut of vacant homes -- a result of overbuilding during the boom years and high foreclosure rates during the bust -- has made homeownership very affordable in these areas, which has become more of a draw than a deterrent to prospective movers. We believe this future demand will lift some of the hardest-hit housing markets back toward growth," said Jed Kolko, Trulia's Chief Economist. "Likewise, homeownership is becoming more appealing than renting as rental markets begin to tighten across the country. Realizing that by moving to the suburbs they can buy a home, many urban dwellers will also add to this future demand as they gravitate away from big cities toward suburban and smaller metros."


  • To view the full report, click here.
  • To view the Metro Movers Index rankings for the largest U.S. metros, click here.
  • To check out Trulia's current and archived industry reports and consumer surveys, click here.

Trulia defines a metropolitan area's Metro Movers Index as the number of inbound property views by outsiders for each outbound property view by locals, based on almost 100 million monthly property views on, while adjusting for total views and site coverage. All U.S. metropolitan areas were included in this study.

Interpretation Key

  • Metro Mover Index > 1: more inbound than outbound property searches
  • Metro Mover Index < 1: more outbound than inbound property searches
  • Metro Mover Index = 1: equal number of inbound and outbound property searches

Sample Metro Movers Index Calculation for Gotham City

  • Number of inbound property views by outsiders: 200
  • Number of outbound property views by locals: 100
  • Gotham City's Metro Movers Index: 200/100 = 2
  • Interpretation: Twice as many people looking to move to Gotham City in the future than leave

Trulia is the fastest growing online real estate resource, empowering buyers, seller and renters with smarter tools to help them find the right home. Trulia gives you the inside scoop to find you find the best place to live. Our smart and personalized real estate search experience brings together vital local information, community insights, market data and national listings all in one place. Trulia is headquartered in downtown San Francisco and is backed by Accel Partners and Sequoia Capital.

Contact Information