The Great Pandemic Migration

Business Insider researched and published a report of the best 30 cities to migrate to after the pandemic. I don’t really understand why the BI Report talks about this as a move that should take place“after the pandemic.”

If you’re living in any of the following top ten most expensive cities, are renting and can work remotely, then why not consider a move sooner rather than later? The amount that follows each city is for a 1 bedroom apartment:

10. Miami @ $1,750

09. San Diego @ $1,770

08. Seattle @ $1,800

07. Los Angeles @ $2,170

06. Washington, DC @ 2,220

05. Oakland @ $2,350

04. San Jose @ $2,420

03. Boston @ $2,450

02. New York @ 2,950

01. San Francisco @ $3,360

These numbers represent rental costs for May 2020. If you’re wondering if rental costs have been affected by the Pandemic, you would be right. New York landlords are incentivizing tenants to stay and also offering for new tenants reduced upfront move-in costs and elaborate gifts, like Pelotons. However, new lease agreements in Manhattan, according to Bloomberg are off 38%. San Francisco rental costs have dropped 10% — yet they are still crazy expensive.

Regardless of the rental numbers, according to a Harris Poll Survey, reported by Axios in late April, roughly a third of Americans are now thinking about moving, especially from the larger more expensive cities. This is understandable, as the absolute worst place to live during a Pandemic, is a densely packed urban area.

I took the liberty and added a few facts to BI’s June 11th report on the 30 best cities. Perplexingly, BI failed to list the median home price for each city, which is something that is extremely important to consider when moving. If you live in LA, The Bay Area or New York, then hold on your chair, because you’re about to fall off when you learn how affordable these locations are in comparison.

  • # 30 Danville, Illinois: Where the cost of living is a whopping 21.4% lower than the national average. According to Zillow, the median home price is $64,698.
  • #29 Grand Island, Nebraska: Where almost 75% of households spend less than 30% of their income on housing and the cost of living is 15.7% lower than the national average. According to Zillow, The Median Home Price is $164,254.
  • #28 Peoria, Illinois: Has a 12% lower than the national average for cost of living. The average housing cost is $875.22 per month. According to Zillow, The median home price is $87,420.
  • #27 Omaha, Nebraska: Has an unemployment rate that is normally very low and a cost of living that is 7.9% lower than the national average. According to Zillow, the median home price is $199,800.00
  • #26 State College, Pennsylvania: An inexpensive college town. Very livable and is well known for the amazing ice cream shop, Penn State Berkey Creamery. According to Zillow, the median home price is $313,500
  • #25 Green Bay, Wisconsin: Where 75.5% of residents spend less than 30% of their income on housing and the average housing cost comes in just under a $1,000 per month. According to Zillow, the median home price is $157,100.00
  • #24 Columbus, Indiana: Where 79.5% of residents spend less than 30% of their income on housing and normally has an unemployment rate under 3%. According to Zillow, the median home price is $179,024
  • #23 Iowa City, Iowa: Normally has an unemployment rate below 2.5.%, a population of approximately 77,000 and a last reported median home price of 223,800.
  • #22 Lansing, Michigan: Where 41% of jobs, can be performed at home and has a cost of living that is 8.8% below the national average. According to Zillow, the median home price is $116,000.
  • #21 Syracuse, New York: 38% of jobs can be performed from home, a population of approximately 145,000 and according to Google, is known for snow, snow, snow. So, if you like snow, then go, go, go to Syracuse. According to Zillow, the median home price is $101,480.
  • #20 Cheyenne, Wyoming: Is the Capital City with virtually no traffic, has a low density population of approximately 64,000 and a median home price of $253,900.
  • #19 Ithaca, New York: A college town with a high education level and a population that spends a lot on education including elementary and secondary school. So if you want to raise a smart kid, Ithaca is a good place to live. The median home price is $298,200
  • #18 Wausau, Wisconsin: 77.5% of residents spend less than 30% of their income on housing… oh, and average housing cost is below $900 per month. According to Zillow, the estimated median home price is $152,117
  • #17 Madison, Wisconsin: Another great work from home location, with 42.6% of jobs that can be done from home. The median home price for Madison is $286,200
  • #16 Dubuque, Iowa: Where 74.1% of households spend less than 30% of their income on housing. The average monthly housing cost is $905 per month. According to Zillow, the estimated median home price is $169,844
  • #15 Logan, Utah: Also known as “Utah’s Heart of The Arts” due to it’s well known performing arts scene. Logan also has Low unemployment, super low traffic, a low population of around 50,000. The Median Home price is $235,300.
  • #14 Lincoln, Nebraska: The capital city where 72.3% of residents spend less than 30% of their income on housing. Lincoln has a median home price of $180,600.
  • #13 Huntsville, Alabama: A large city in Appalachia and it is also the county seat of Madison County. Huntsville has normally enjoys low Unemployment, 41.5% of jobs can be done from home and a median home price of $153,200.
  • #12 La Crosse, Wisconsin: A city nestled on the Mississippi river with 73.7% of households spend less than 30% on housing and they are the national winner of the daily shortest commute time, coming in at 35 minutes (yes, that’s booth ways). Median home price is $179,900
  • #11 Cedar Rapids, Iowa: A culturally hip city, where 79.9% of households spend less than 30% of their income on housing. Zillow’s estimated median home price is $145,900.00
  • #10 Columbia, Missouri: The heart of the city is the University of Missouri, has low commute times and a median home price of $194,486
  • #09 Bismarck, North Dakota: The capital city of North Dakota, known for its art-deco architecture where 76.7% of households spend less than 30% of their income on housing. The median home price is $281,169 — according to Zillow.
  • #08 Des Moines, Iowa: The capital city of Iowa, with a well known weekly farmer’s market, where 42.7% of jobs can be performed from home with a median home price of $140,800
  • #07 Rochester, New York: Located on Lake Ontario with a lot of old industrial buildings and known for being near the Genesee River’s High Falls. Residents spend a lot of money on education, elementary through secondary. The median home price is $72,200
  • #06 Ames, Iowa: Just 30 Miles north of Des Moines, it is the home of Iowa State University. The population is highly educated, with over 50% of its residents having a bachelors degree. The median home price is $229,019
  • #05 Champaign, Illinois: A sister city to Urbana and nestled in Central Illinois, it is known for the sprawling campus of the University of Illinois. According to Zillow, the median home price is $144,919
  • #04 Bloomington, Illinois: Known for being a city where Abraham Lincoln practiced law and having an extensive constitutional trail. 72.2% of households spend less than 30% of their income on housing. According to Zillow, the median home price is $174,321
  • #03 Fargo, North Dakota: A surprisingly culturally aware city with a lot to see and do indoors and outdoors.The median home price is $222,800
  • #02 Jefferson City, Missouri: Named after Thomas Jefferson, and coined by Rand McNally as “Most Beautiful Small Town”, this capital city of the state of Missouri, and has 77.2% of the population spending less than 30% of their income on housing. The median home price of $155,900.
  • #01 Springfield, Illinois: Home of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and the state capital, Springfield remains an agricultural powerhouse but yet, 42.9% of jobs can be done at home. The median home price is $121,541.

As a real estate broker in San Francisco, I have not had one single conversation with anyone who is considering moving to any of the these 30 cities. In fact, I haven’t personally visited even one of them.

The locations most of my clients are talking about are Oregon, Washington State, Nevada and Colorado. Basically the progressive states that are marijuana friendly.

If you would like to hear my Podcast of this same article, please visit Never Too Late To The Game to listen.

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Mykel Ferrantino

Mykel Ferrantino

San Francisco Real Estate Broker, Developer, Consultant, Writer & Podcaster of Never Too Late To The Game.