Local laws and politics have become an increasingly important factor for homebuyers moving to a new location, a recent survey conducted for Redfin shows.
The survey of 500 real estate agents shows that roughly one third had at least one client in 2023 who chose the location of their new home based on its local laws or politics.
The agents surveyed came from a wide spectrum of brokerages in the U.S. The survey was conducted by Qualrics in December.
The survey asked: “Have any of your customers over the past 12 months decided to move primarily because of state or local laws or politics?”
Factors like housing affordability, proximity to family and living close to job centers often outweigh political preferences or local laws when people are choosing where to live. But with the pandemic-driven rise in remote work, more Americans have the flexibility to factor in political preferences and local laws in deciding which metro area to call their hometown: A record share of homebuyers relocated to a different metro area in 2023.
Some of the most common migration routes for homebuyers last year were from blue states to red or purple states: San Francisco to Austin; Seattle to Phoenix; New York to Orlando and other parts of Florida.
That’s due largely to housing affordability, but some homebuyers moved because they wanted to live in a more conservative place.
State and local laws and politics have also become increasingly important as the nation gets more partisan, with Democrats and Republicans drifting further apart on issues like climate, immigration and education.
State laws differ on partisan issues like abortion and gun control, with many Americans reporting they would prefer to live in a place with laws that align with their own views.
On a similar note, many Americans prefer living in a place where their neighbors have similar political views.
Redfin agents have reported working with customers who relocated for political reasons last year.
Andrew Vallejo, an Austin, Texas, Redfin Premier agent, 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,” Vallejo says in a release. “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.”
Photo: Sander Weeteling