- After analyzing 50 of the nations' housing markets, Zillow found that more than 50% of San Francisco residents are looking for their next homes outside the area, according to NBC Bay Area.
- San Francisco also ranks high on Zillow's list of those markets receiving interest from potential homebuyers currently living outside the area, a trend that Zillow chalks up to the metro's hot job market.
- San Francisco and Austin, TX, snagged the highest number of Zillow page views from those living in other metros, but those cities also rank the highest among cities with residents looking for homes elsewhere.
Zillow said its analysis saw four major groups emerge from the metros it studied:
- Markets where many current residents are looking to get out but also attract significant interest from those looking to move there (San Francisco, Austin, TX).
- Markets where current residents want to stay put but also get many Zillow page views from those in other metros (Seattle, Portland, OR).
- Markets that garner little incoming attention but have many residents who are interested in moving away (New Orleans, Miami, Detroit).
- Markets in which current residents don't have an interest in moving away and few outsiders give indications that they want to live there either (Minneapolis, New York City, Pittsburgh).
Zillow cautioned that the results of its analysis could be somewhat skewed by those simply real estate surfing in places they'll never be able to afford or by visitors revisiting old stomping grounds. However, Zillow analysts noted that some patterns represent true trends, like those in Northeastern climes searching for retirement homes in sunny Florida.
Although it seems that San Francisco has attracted major attention from potential homebuyers, affordability in that metro is still an issue. Home prices in San Francisco and other "hot" areas continue their upward march, pushing properties in those areas out of reach of everyday buyers, although the latest S&P/Case-Shiller report gave indications that the Bay Area's price growth might be slowing a bit.
Limited inventory has compounded the problem of skyrocketing prices and has led to what Zillow called an "imbalance" in some housing markets. Homeowners are waiting for top prices before they sell, and homebuyers are fighting over the stock that's available. This eliminates many renters from the competition, pushing their goal of homeownership further out of reach. The Wall Street Journal reported that this growing gap between homeowner and renter could lead to a permanent renter class that will most likely never own a home.