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The 7 Cities Attracting & Repelling Residents: Lesson Gleaned from Net Migration Trends of 2022

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In the ever-evolving landscape of urban migration, certain US cities stand out as magnets for newcomers seeking opportunities and a better quality of life, while others experience a steady outflow of residents. From the sunny shores of Florida to the vibrant streets of California, the net migration patterns reveal fascinating insights into the factors shaping America's urban landscape. In this blog post, we explore the top seven cities attracting and repelling residents the most, shedding light on the reasons behind these migratory trends.

The 7 Cities Attracting Residents

#7 Austin-Round Rock, TX

  • Austin attracted 3,600 newcomers in 2022 with its reputation as the "Live Music Capital of the World." Its tech industry and entrepreneurial spirit, coupled with an average household income of $91,000 and average rent of $2,500, contribute to its appeal.

# 6 Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN

  • Nashville, with a net migration of 3,700 and an average annual household income of $66,000, offers a vibrant music scene and a growing economy. Its reasonable average rent of $2,000 and welcoming atmosphere make it a popular destination.

#5 Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford, FL

  • Known for its world-famous theme parks and tourism industry, Orlando saw a net influx of 3,800 people in 2022. The average annual household income is $68,000 with an average rent of $2,100, contributing to its attractiveness.

#4 Raleigh-Cary, NC

  • As part of North Carolina's Research Triangle, Raleigh drew 4,100 new residents in 2022 with its appealing average annual household income of $81,000 and monthly rent averaging $2,300. The city attracts professionals and students seeking opportunities in the technology and research industries.

#3 Charlotte-Gastonia-Concord, NC

  • Charlotte, with a net migration of 4,200 and an average annual household income of $73,000, is a beacon for job seekers and entrepreneurs, fueled by its booming financial and banking sectors. The average monthly rent of $2,200 coupled with the city's southern charm and diverse cultural scene add to its allure.

#2 Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL

  • With its lower cost of living and a growing economy, Lakeland-Winter Haven saw a net migration of 4,500 in 2022. The city's average household income of $54,000 and average rent of $1,800 enhance its appeal, making it a hidden gem for those seeking a relaxed pace of life.

#1 Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach, FL

  • Boasting warm weather, a thriving job market, and affordable housing options, the Miami metropolitan area leads the nation in net migration with a surplus of 5,300 residents in 2022. With an average household income of $71,000 and average monthly rent of $2,400, it offers a vibrant culture and an attractive destination for new residents seeking a dynamic lifestyle.

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The 7 Cities Repelling Residents

#7 Seattle, WA

  • Seattle, despite an average annual household income of $92,000, saw an outflow of 14,900 residents. Rising housing costs, with an average rent of $3,000, and concerns about over development have played a role in this trend.

#6 Boston, MA

  • Boston, despite its prestige and an average annual household income of $100,000, experienced a net loss of 15,700 residents due to its steep cost of living, reflected in an average rent of $3,300.

#5 Chicago, IL

  • Chicago saw a net loss of 20,100 residents in 2022. Despite an average household income of $75,000, the city's harsh winters and high crime rates have prompted people to move.

#4 Los Angeles, CA

  • Despite its allure, Los Angeles lost 23,400 residents in 2022. The city's high cost of living, reflected in an average household income of $84,000 and an average rent of $3,000, led many to seek less congested areas.

#3 Washington, D.C.

  • Washington, D.C., with an average household income of $110,000, experienced a net loss of 22,800 residents. High housing costs and the frenetic pace of life have pushed some residents to look elsewhere.

#2 New York City, NY

  • New York City, with an average annual household income of $87,000, experienced a net loss of 18,000 residents due to its high living expenses and an average monthly rent of $3,200.

#1 San Francisco, CA

  • Despite an impressive average annual household income of $120,000, San Francisco saw a net outflow of 31,100 residents in 2022. The city's high cost of living, demonstrated by an average rent of $4,000, has driven residents to seek more affordable options elsewhere.

The ebb and flow of migration in these seven cities showcase the complexities of urban living and the diverse factors that shape people's decisions to relocate. Economic opportunities, weather, cultural offerings, household incomes, and rent costs all play significant roles in these migratory trends. As these cities adapt and respond to the shifting migration patterns, they continue to shape the narrative of the American dream for future generations.

Lessons Gleaned from Net Migration Trends of 2022

  • Economic Opportunities Matter: Job opportunities and strong local economies play a critical role in attracting residents to a city. For instance, cities like Raleigh and Austin with thriving tech sectors, and Charlotte with its booming financial sector are experiencing an influx of residents. Understanding the local economy and job market is crucial when considering where people may move.

  • Cost of Living is Significant: A high cost of living can deter people from moving to or remaining in a city. Even cities with high average incomes, such as San Francisco and New York City, can see outflows if the cost of living, especially housing, is too high. This highlights the importance of affordability in migration trends.

  • Quality of Life is Key: People are not just driven by job opportunities or the cost of living. Quality of life, including factors like weather, cultural scene, and perceived safety, significantly influences where people choose to live.

  • Smaller Cities Can Thrive: It's not just major metropolises that attract residents. Smaller cities or metro areas like Lakeland-Winter Haven, FL or Nashville, TN can also attract new residents, especially if they offer a lower cost of living and a good quality of life.

  • Migration is Dynamic: Urban migration patterns are not static and can change over time due to various factors, such as changes in work dynamics, economic shifts, or lifestyle preferences. As seen in the case of cities like San Francisco and New York, past popularity does not guarantee future growth.

  • Housing Affordability: There is a clear correlation between housing costs and migratory patterns. High rental or property costs can lead to resident outflows, while more affordable housing options can make a city more attractive to newcomers.

Overall, these lessons underscore the complex interplay of economic, lifestyle, and affordability factors that influence urban migration. They emphasize the importance of ongoing monitoring of these trends and the need for adaptive strategies to manage the challenges and opportunities they present.

By keeping an eye on these migration trends and factors, multifamily investors can make informed decisions about where to invest next, ensuring a higher return on investment and better long-term growth prospects.

As always, Be Bold, Be Great, and Keep Pushing Forward!

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About Ellie Perlman

Ellie Perlman is the founder of Blue Lake Capital, a commercial real estate investment firm specializing in multifamily investing throughout the United States. At Blue Lake Capital, Ellie partners with both institutional and individual investors to grow their wealth by achieving double-digit returns by investing alongside her in exclusive multifamily deals they usually don't have access to.

A defining factor of Blue Lake Capital’s strategy is founded in utilizing machine learning/artificial intelligence throughout the course of all acquisitions and asset management. This advanced technology enables the company to produce accurate and data-driven forecasting for all assets on a market, property, and even tenant basis. In doing so, Blue Lake is able to lead commercial investments with the full capabilities of today’s technology.

Ellie is the founding host of REady2Scale, a podcast that highlights the assets, processes, and strategies for the multiple approaches to successful real estate investing.

She started her career as a commercial real estate lawyer, leading real estate transactions for one of Israel’s leading development companies. Later, as a property manager for Israel’s largest energy company, she oversaw properties worth over $100MM. Additionally, Ellie is an experienced entrepreneur who helped build and scale companies by improving their business operations.

Ellie holds a Masters in Law from Bar-Ilan University in Israel and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management.

You can read more about Blue Lake Capital and Ellie Perlman at


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