Austin is the main attraction for residents leaving California cities

Los Angeles’ population losses were Austin’s and Dallas-Fort Worth’s gains in 2020.

A new report from residential real estate platform Zillow places Austin at No. 3 and DFW at No. 4 among the five U.S. metro areas that saw the most inbound movement in 2020. For Austin and DFW, the Los Angeles metro area is tops the list of places sending the most newcomers, according to the Zillow report.

Here are the top five metros for inbound moves last year:

  1. Phoenix
  2. Charlotte, North Carolina
  3. Austin
  4. Dallas-Fort Worth
  5. Sarasota, Florida

The ranking is based on SIRVA/North American Van Lines data for moves in the first 11 months of 2020.

Zillow expects the influx of people in Phoenix, Charlotte and Austin to continue in 2021 as residents in higher cost markets seek lower cost housing elsewhere.

The metro area that saw the most departures last year was New York City, followed by Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago, according to Zillow.

After LA, two other California metros — San Jose and San Francisco — accounted for the most newcomers to Austin last year, according to the Zillow report. Aside from Los Angeles, the main sources of new DFW residents last year were the New York and Chicago metros.

Zillow calls this population shift a “big shakeup.”

In a March survey by Zillow, 11% of American adults said they had moved in the past year, either by choice or necessity. According to the US Census Bureau, 9.8% of Americans moved in 2019.

“The pandemic has resulted in an acceleration of the trends we were seeing in 2018 and 2019,” said Jeff Tucker, senior economist at Zillow, in an April 6 press release. “The more affordable mid-size metropolitan areas of the Sun Belt have seen many more people come than go, especially from more expensive large cities further north and on the coasts. The pandemic has catalyzed purchases by first-time millennials, many of whom can now work from anywhere.

In a typical year, other cities in Texas represent the most inbound moves for Austin and DFW. The Zillow Report does not reflect these relocations, largely because many movers in the state do not hire moving companies like North American Van Lines.

Bernard P. Love