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Politics and local laws are influencing where people move: Redfin

(NewsNation) — A record share of homebuyers relocated to a different metro area in 2023, and a new survey suggests politics may be one of the big reasons why.

One-third of real estate agents said they have worked with a client over the past year who decided to move “primarily because of state or local laws or politics,” according to real estate brokerage Redfin.

“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,” Redfin said in the report. “On a similar note, many Americans prefer living in a place where their neighbors have similar political views.”

The pandemic-driven rise in remote work has given Americans more flexibility to move, and many are taking the opportunity to find like-minded communities.

Last year, some of the most common migration routes were from blue states to red or purple states. That shift was largely due to housing affordability but also because some homebuyers wanted to live in a more conservative place, Redfin noted.

Redfin agents say they have noticed more people relocating for political reasons since the pandemic.

“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,” Andrew Vallejo, an Austin, Texas, Redfin premier agent, said in the report. “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.” 

Another couple, who moved from Los Angeles to Boise, Idaho, were excited to hang an American flag and a Thin Blue Line banner at their new home after feeling uncomfortable putting them up in California.

Others are moving to red states due to pro-business policies, like lower taxes and fewer restrictions on companies, Redfin said, based on what the brokerage had heard from agents.

The new survey reflects an ongoing clustering of Americans into like-minded enclaves, which has been dubbed “The Big Sort.”

The Redfin survey of 500 real estate agents was conducted by Qualtrics in December 2023.