Special Report

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

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10. Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL
> Pct. of potential movers from outside Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL: 52.8%
> Top area people are searching from: Miami-Port St. Lucie-Fort Lauderdale, FL (14.5%)
> Cost of living: 1.3% less than nat’l avg.
> Median home value: $255,500
> Median household income: $61,876

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the Orlando, Florida, metro area remained one of the most popular places for Americans to move, continuing a yearslong trend. From 2010 to 2019, the area’s population grew by 17.3% from net migration, the 15th highest percentage of all U.S. metro areas. The influx of people came largely from other Florida cities like Tampa and Miami, as well as farther north areas, like Washington, D.C. and New York City. New York state had among the largest shares of its population looking to relocate out of the state during 2020 amid the pandemic.

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9. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC
> Pct. of potential movers from outside Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC-SC: 39.6%
> Top area people are searching from: New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA (30.8%)
> Cost of living: 5.8% less than nat’l avg.
> Median home value: $233,900
> Median household income: $66,399

The Charlotte metropolitan area’s median household income of $66,399 is slightly higher than the U.S. median of $65,712. At the same time, the cost of goods and services in the area is 5.8% less expensive that the average across the country.

Like many metro areas with high numbers of people looking for homes in the area, the city has been a popular search destination for New York metro area residents. Over 30% of people searching for homes in Charlotte from outside the metro area have come from the New York metro area.

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8. Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL
> Pct. of potential movers from outside Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL: 55.3%
> Top area people are searching from: Orlando-Lakeland-Deltona, FL (15.8%)
> Cost of living: 1.0% less than nat’l avg.
> Median home value: $224,300
> Median household income: $57,906

The Tampa metropolitan area population grew by nearly 400,000 people from 2010 to 2019 due to net migration, and it continued to be a popular relocation destination in 2020. Typically, most people looking for a place to live in a metro area already live in that metro, but in 2020, more than 55% of people who looked on Redfin for somewhere to live in Tampa did not live there. Orlando residents accounted for more people who looked to relocate to Tampa than residents of any other city.

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7. Charleston-North Charleston, SC
> Est. net population change, 2020 to date: +0.50% (+4,029)
> Pct. of potential movers from outside Charleston-North Charleston, SC: 48.8%
> Top area people are searching from: New York-Newark, NY-NJ-CT-PA (18.0%)
> Cost of living: 3.2% less than nat’l avg.
> Median home value: $266,600
> Median household income: $70,505

As New Yorkers left the city in droves throughout 2020, many cities in the South like Charleston were popular relocation destinations. More people from New York City sought to move to Charleston than those in any other city.

Charleston may have been an attractive option for people looking to move because homes there are relatively affordable, incomes are higher than the national median, and the cost of living is over 3% lower.

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6. Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC
> Pct. of potential movers from outside Myrtle Beach-Conway-North Myrtle Beach, SC-NC: 75.7%
> Top area people are searching from: Washington-Baltimore-Arlington, DC-MD-VA-WV-PA (19.9%)
> Cost of living: 8.1% less than nat’l avg.
> Median home value: $212,100
> Median household income: $56,977

From 2010 to 2019, Myrtle Beach’s population grew by 32.6% from net migration alone, the second highest share among any major U.S. city. It continued to be a popular place for people looking to move in 2020. Typically, most people looking for a house in a major metropolitan area already live there, yet more than three-quarters of people looking to move to Myrtle Beach in 2020 did not. More people from the Washington D.C. area searched for homes in Myrtle Beach than people from any other place.