Real Estate

Report: More Out-of-Towners Looking to Buy Homes in Miami Than Anywhere Else in the U.S.

The pandemic has brought even more out-of-towners to the area.
The pandemic has brought even more out-of-towners to the area. Photo by Nisian Hughes/Getty
Remember that tech bro with the viral tweet about his $600-a-month waterfront apartment? Apparently, he's not the only one romanticizing a move to the Magic City.

According to a report by the Seattle-based brokerage firm Redfin published last week, Miami topped its list of 112 metropolitan areas across the nation in the number of home searches. To be included in the sample, a Redfin.com user must have viewed at least ten homes in a particular area, and homes in that area must have comprised at least 80 percent of that user’s searches. Of the roughly 2 million users who met those qualifications in July, there were 7,610 more users opting to move into Miami than leave. That's three times higher than last year, when only 2,216 more people wanted to move to Miami than leave. Though Miami has ranked in the top ten of Redfin's home-search reports since 2017, this is the first time it appears at the very top — ahead of Sacramento, Phoenix, and Las Vegas.

"Miami has always been a melting pot, but the pandemic has brought even more out-of-towners to the area because so many people can now work from wherever they want," Redfin real estate agent Milagros Alvarez said in a recent statement about the findings. "The beaches, warm weather, and low taxes are the major draws."

Take it from Catherine Resek, a Keller Williams realtor with more than two decades of experience selling homes in South Florida. Her specialty: clients relocating to the Magic City from other cities and out of state.


"What you’ll find here in Miami is not only a very international culture, it’s very versatile," Resek tells New Times. "Miami is a cosmopolitan city — an urban city that has everything."

Homebuyers are clamoring to post up in the greater Miami metropolitan area. The demand is high, sure, but the volume of inventory? Lacking. That discrepancy apparently hasn’t curbed interest.

According to the Miami Association of Realtors and the Multiple Listing Service, Miami-Dade County saw its best-ever sales in July, with total home sales topping 57.7 percent year over year.

Even after the catastrophic Champlain Towers South collapse, condo sales more than doubled.

"A historic year for Miami real estate continues with the best-ever July sales month," Jennifer Wollmann, chairman of the board of the Miami Association of Realtors said in a press release. "The pandemic and the increase in remote work availability has accelerated the demand for Miami real estate."

But can we also be honest?

“It’s not a cheap city by any means," Resek admits. "But if you're coming from places like New York, San Francisco, L.A.? Then Miami is good."

OK, so Miami is more cost-efficient for folks moving from one multimillion-dollar home to another, but that’s a far cry from the reality known to most home buyers.

“There’s a lack of affordable housing, a lack of new construction, and a lack of inventory. That's going on throughout the nation,” Resek admits, adding that she anticipates the Miami housing market will steady by the end of the year. “There should be more inventory by then. If that happens, then prices will stabilize.”

But don't count on a $600 waterfront apartment just yet.
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Michael Majchrowicz is a staff writer at Miami New Times. He studied journalism at Indiana University and has reported for PolitiFact, The New York Times, Washington Post and Tampa Bay Times.