Migrating to the South Continues: 20 Inexpensive Cities To Move To

Generation after generation, birds migrate seasonally to move from areas of decreasing resources to areas of increasing resources. Fresh from our 2020 Migration and Magnet States Reports, data shows many Americans moved to areas of increasing resources (think: less expensive cities) last year.


Whether it’s because of new work from home options, retirement, or the loss of a job, the COVID-19 pandemic influenced a lot of people to think hard about their needs and where they live. Relocating to where the cost of living is relatively low was a popular trend -- and still is -- with Florida and the Carolinas becoming top destinations.

Check out these top 20 inexpensive cities to move to, using prospective home buyer data from Redfin users and the U.S. Census Bureau:

20. Grand Rapids, MI’s cost of living is 7.8% of the national average.

19. Virginia Beach, NC’s median household income is $69,329.

18. Los Angeles-area residents accounted for almost 10% in searches for New Orleans.

17. The Greenville, SC metropolitan area continues to attract new residents to the Carolinas every year.

16. High Point, NC with cost of living at 10.2% less than the national average.

15. The cost of living in Tucson, AZ is 6.1% lower than the typical U.S. city.

14. Alburquerque, NM’s median home value is $206K.

13. The largest share of people looking to live in San Antonio, TX originated in Houston (16.1%). 

12. More than a third of people outside of Atlanta who looked to move to the area searched from New York City.

11. Jacksonville, FL’s cost of living is 4.5% less than the national average. 

10. Orlando, FL’s median household income is $61,876.

9. Charlotte, NC was a popular search destination for New York metropolitan area residents (30%).

8. Tampa, FL continued to be a popular destination in 2020 with Orlando residents accounting for more people who looked to relocate to Tampa than any other city.

7. While reality TV made Charlston, SC popular, it still boasts a cost of living 3.2% less than the national average. 

6. Myrtle Beach, SC’s cost of living is 8.1% less than the national average. 

5. Nearly a quarter of people from outside the Phoenix, AZ area searched from the Los Angeles area. 

4. Nashville’s Music City population grew to over 18% in the last decade.

3. Raleigh, NC is one of the top five metro areas to rank among the cheapest cities in the U.S.

2. Those looking to relocate to Salisbury, MD area are mostly from Washington, D.C. (70%).

1. Fort Myers, FL’s median home value is $244.700.

While the above cities were strictly considered where the housing affordability ratio (median home value to median household income) is less than the national average, it tracks with our own findings that Americans are migrating south. 

Much like birds, people are navigating into new territories with new resources. Contact us today if you’re looking to move as well.