Californians are most likely to move to these 4 states next, UBS says

  • From 2010 to 2018, more than a million people moved from California to four less-expensive states, according to a UBS report on the residential housing market.
  • The trend of interstate migration from expensive, coastal states to inland states that are less expensive has been gathering for years,'s Senior Economist George Ratiu told Business Insider.
  • The coronavirus has been accelerating this, and UBS said it will continue to do so.
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As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, there's been a movement of people away from historically expensive and dense coastal cities, per a UBS report on the residential real estate market. 

However, this isn't a new trend. In fact,'s Senior Economist George Ratiu told Business Insider back in May that millennials ditching expensive cities for secondary markets has been a trend for years, the pandemic has just accelerated it. 

In the UBS report, analysts looked at California, one of the most expensive states in the country, to find out how many people have left over the past decade, and where they have been going. According to the report, four states led the way, attracting more than one million California residents from 2010 to 2018.

From 2010 to 2018, 494,244 California residents moved to Arizona; 230,935 to Colorado; 222,309 to Florida, and 125,859 to Idaho.  

"We believe there are a number of contributing factors to this, including economics — there are states that have significantly lower costs of living in terms of real estate costs and taxes; have better climates; are more business- and regulatory-friendly; and have better fiscal outlooks," the report reads. 

The coronavirus pandemic has pushed homebuyers to seek larger homes in less densely populated areas with more space to accommodate remote work.

"Interstate migration is by no means a new phenomenon, but it is likely to pick up steam as a result of COVID-19," the report said.

According to a recent report by Redfin, 27.4% of users were looking to move to another metro area in the second quarter of the year, a record percentage. 

"The factors driving a surge in overall homebuyer demand — low mortgage rates and changes in what people are looking for in a home — are lighting a fire in people who were already considering a move to a different area," Redfin's economist Taylor Marr was quoted saying in the report. 

California's loss could be Arizona and Colorado's gain.

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