Special Report

America’s 20 Cheapest Cities Where Everyone Wants to Live Right Now

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15. Tucson, AZ
> Pct. of potential movers from outside Tucson, AZ: 51.4%
> Top area people are searching from: Phoenix-Mesa, AZ (21.2%)
> Cost of living: 6.1% less than nat’l avg.
> Median home value: $211,600
> Median household income: $56,169

The majority of people who looked to move to Tucson, Arizona, in 2020 searched from other Western metro areas like Phoenix, Seattle, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. More than half of people who looked for a place to live in the Tucson area in 2020 searched from outside the metro area.

Though incomes are relatively low in Tucson, at just over $56,000, it is also relatively inexpensive. The cost of living in Tucson is 6.1% lower than in the typical U.S. city.

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14. Albuquerque, NM
> Pct. of potential movers from outside Albuquerque, NM: 57.2%
> Top area people are searching from: Los Angeles-Long Beach, CA (16.1%)
> Cost of living: 5.8% less than nat’l avg.
> Median home value: $206,000
> Median household income: $58,512

Albuquerque barely had more people moving to it than who moved away from 2010 through 2019. However, according to real estate search data collected by Redfin, thousands more people searched for homes in Albuquerque from elsewhere in the country through the first three quarters of 2020 than were looking to leave the metro area.

Close to 60% of people searching for homes within the metro area came from elsewhere, with the highest share of outside searches coming from the Los Angeles metropolitan area.

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

13. San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX
> Pct. of potential movers from outside San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX: 42.7%
> Top area people are searching from: Houston-The Woodlands, TX (16.1%)
> Cost of living: 6.1% less than nat’l avg.
> Median home value: $197,600
> Median household income: $62,355

The San Antonio metropolitan area reported a 19% population increase between 2010 and 2019, with the majority of that growth as a result of net migration. San Antonio is a relatively affordable city, with goods and services costing 6.1% less than the national average, while the median household income of $62,355 is just slightly lower than the U.S. median income.

The metro area has been a relatively popular search destination so far in 2020, with the largest share of people looking to relocate to the metro area originating in Houston.

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

12. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA
> Pct. of potential movers from outside Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA: 26.0%
> Top area people are searching from: New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA (37.3%)
> Cost of living: 2.7% less than nat’l avg.
> Median home value: $247,200
> Median household income: $71,742

More than a third of people outside of Atlanta who looked to move to the metro area in 2020 searched from the New York City area. In fact, in seven of the 20 cities on this list, New York City was the top outside metro area where those looking to relocate searched from. New York was one of the cities that was hit the hardest by COVID-19, prompting many New Yorkers to leave.

Atlanta, one of the largest metro areas in the country, has a median household income of $71,742, which is $6,000 higher than the U.S. median. Yet the area’s cost of living is 2.7% lower than the U.S. average.

Source: Sean Pavone / Getty Images

11. Jacksonville, FL
> Pct. of potential movers from outside Jacksonville, FL: 50.0%
> Top area people are searching from: Miami-Port St. Lucie-Fort Lauderdale, FL (16.6%)
> Cost of living: 4.5% less than nat’l avg.
> Median home value: $230,100
> Median household income: $65,880

One of many Florida metro areas to make this list, Jacksonville has had a substantial increase in home searches in each of the first three quarters of 2020.

Among Jacksonville residents looking for homes in the first three quarters of 2020 on Redfin, 75% were looking for homes within the metro area. But of all people looking to buy homes there, about half are from outside the city, with the largest share coming from the Miami-Port St. Lucie-Fort Lauderdale metro area.