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Dallas-Fort Worth stars as top attraction for residents leaving Los Angeles, Zillow says

DFW stars as top attraction for residents leaving L.A., Zillow says

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Residents are trading the City of Angels for Lone Star living. miroslav_1/Getty Images

Los Angeles’ population losses were Dallas-Fort Worth’s and Austin's gains in 2020.

A new report from residential real estate platform Zillow puts Austin at No. 3 and DFW at No. 4 among the five U.S. metro areas that saw the most inbound moves in 2020. For DFW and Austin, the Los Angeles metro area topped the list of places sending the most new arrivals, the Zillow report says.

Here are the top five metros for inbound moves last year:

  1. Phoenix
  2. Charlotte, North Carolina
  3. Austin
  4. Dallas-Fort Worth
  5. Sarasota, Florida

The ranking is based on SIRVA/North American Van Lines data for moves in the first 11 months of 2020. 

Zillow expects the population influx in Phoenix, Charlotte, and Austin to continue in 2021 as people in higher-cost markets seek lower-cost housing elsewhere. A Zillow report in January forecasted DFW as the sixth hottest housing market in 2021, and Austin as No. 1.

Aside from L.A., last year’s top sources of new residents in DFW were the New York City and Chicago metros.

San Jose and San Francisco — accounted for the most new arrivals last year in Austin (after L.A.), the Zillow report shows. 

The metro area that experienced the most departures last year was New York City, followed by L.A., San Francisco, and Chicago, according to Zillow.

Zillow refers to this population shift as the “Great Reshuffling.”

In a March survey by Zillow, 11 percent of U.S. adults indicated they had moved in the previous year — either by choice or out of necessity. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 9.8 percent of Americans moved in 2019.

“The pandemic brought an acceleration of trends we were seeing in 2018 and 2019,” Jeff Tucker, senior economist at Zillow, says in an April 6 news release. “More affordable, medium-sized metro areas across the Sun Belt saw significantly more people coming than going, especially from more expensive, larger cities farther north and on the coasts. The pandemic has catalyzed purchases by millennial first-time buyers, many of whom can now work from anywhere.”

In a typical year, other cities in Texas represent the most inbound moves for DFW and Austin. The Zillow report doesn’t reflect these relocations, in large part because many in-state movers don’t hire moving companies like North American Van Lines.