The Indicator from Planet Money - Where's Everyone Moving To?

Remember all the predictions about the pandemic pushing people to quit big, expensive cities? Six months in, the data is providing some clues about which cities Americans are leaving, and where they're moving to. An update on the "urban exodus."

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You're having all kinds of stories lately about people moving moving because of the pandemic and because so many people are now able to work from home. A lot of people are buying houses right now. We know that and we know that they are moving but where they moving to where they moving from the data gets fuzzier there and then there were all these stories kind of swirling around about the stuff like when people say that the streets of New York City or just jammed packed with moving trucks are the San Francisco's emptying out and I mean, I've heard people are buying houses like crazy in places like Seattle and Austin in Chicago and see my old apartment building by the way. I've gone through long stretches where I don't see any of my neighbors cuz clearly they're gone. Don't know where they are. One of my neighbors is moving out right now like today as I'm talking they're moving out. I saw the blankets in the hallway and the wheelie things to know I have no idea who they are.

How to make your own pipe card if I woke up, I don't know my neighbors. But yeah, I mean that the other things like her to like no, no, no actually people aren't leaving cities inside right now people are buying because they're all these deals. That's another thing that I've heard. There's so many anecdotes but not a lot of actual data and this is the indicator from Planet Money. We love data that's kind of our thing wheel of data we do that's so what we did was we started looking around for some clear data about where Americans are moving to my list at Bloomberg citylab just so you know, I like I have a friend that is very obvious. That is always yes more French accent is absolutely always better. This is the indicator from Planet Money. I'm Stacey Vanek Smith, and we dive into

Moving data, where are we going? Where are we leaving? Why are we here? Okay, we don't do that. Why are we here feels like a different show, but we would definitely someone with a French accent French philosopher. We're going to need some cigarettes and turtlenecks for that show, but but for now I'm moving data.

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Marie Pacino from Bloomberg citylab. Thank you so much for joining us. You recently wrote an article kind of looking at a bunch of the the moving day that because we definitely been hearing a lot of things about, you know, this Great Migration and all these people moving from covid-19 kind of took a dive into this question exactly. You seen a lot of anecdotal evidence about a so cool Urban Explorers. So we thought that it'd be interesting to try to do a summary of all the interesting data points we could get our hands on ya. Where did you look to get this data? Cuz I really want to see you know, if it's a really good point. So we do get a fair amount of research coming from moving companies in real estate aggregator is like Zillow and did find a more nuanced story. What did you find? I mean, I feel like the the story has been at least the anecdotal story has been like people are fleeing cities. They're moving to the country and sort of settling down at there's an exit.

So, what did you find when you actually looked at actual data on What story did tell ya so we found that overall it seems like people actually during the during the border is between March and June people move to weigh less than they usually do and not sweat the the moving data told us but overall we also saw a really interesting. We have seen a lot of people moving out of especially Manhattan, but also a lot of people moving in of San Francisco and where are they going? It's kind of a story that Christina is that a fair amount of people who move out of San Francisco and New York City 10 to go to actually also pretty big cities like Los Angeles Chicago Atlanta office Seattle is so it seems like people are moving maybe from the Los Angeles is a bigger city. I don't know cuz that yeah, but it was like not the story that I expected cuz I was like, oh they're moving from the big

Cities to smaller cities Los Angeles isn't a smaller City. I think in Los Angeles people can have a little more space. It seems like people are maybe not necessarily leaving Urban places, but going to Urban places where they can maybe have more space or something like that. Yeah, that is definitely interesting and we have data from a real estate consultant and the this all that in my home sales had dropped by 56% year-over-year. The other thing that I really loved your article was it you took a look at it history, which I thought was such a fascinating perspective. You kind of look back in time a little bit at past pandemics answer the big issues in in big cities in the u.s. What did you find well, and you know, we mentioned the Spanish Flu

Colorado cities have always been historically resilient and have managed to kind of recover from all the hardship that has happened at me cuz you looked at London back in 1849. They had 10,000 people died of collar up within a few months and then a fuge fire destroyed than a lot of the city but right after that the city's role as for the world's leading Financial Centre at that time actually grew so a few experts we've talked to kind of expect the same thing to happen with the current pandemic even though a pretty big shift that has happened and maybe was in there before is the whole working from home, you know movement that is happening. So it kind of depends how turn up to to be, you know, like what people return to the office or we'll keep our kind of stay working from home, right? So this time I might be a little different because we are establishing a protocol now,

Where we don't need to necessarily be at work. So we all still might be working jobs that are technically based in you know, when New York or San Francisco, but we could be living elsewhere. Yeah, and I think another important thing is that there was an overall trend of population and dense urban city centres growing less fast. Then then people in you know, Suburban areas. This is a trend that we that was already happened. And basically it may have been accelerated. So you are based out of London from what I understand. Is that right? Yeah. What's happening in London are people leaving London? Is it the same thing as New York are people saying like London is over has dropped quite a lot recently is your rent props. Yeah. It is actually buy a lot or just like a little bitter.

At least from what I see the kind of leaving the the singer. So yeah, I guess we'll have to to see well Marie. Thank you so much for talking with me today. Yeah. Thanks so much for having me this episode of the indicator was produced by Brittany Cronin. It was fact-checked by Shawn. Saldania, the indicators edited by Patty Hirsch and is the production of NPR

I'm Rodney call Michael Anthony Manning.

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