First they went to Texas, and now… Tennessee? A record number of people are leaving California and Florida—and Texas—and taking up residence in the Volunteer State.
According to census data, which looks at state-to-state migration, a crop of 225,000 newcomers flocked to Tennessee between July 2021 and July 2022. During that time period, more than 25,000 of those transplants came from the Sunshine State, while a whopping 22,000 hailed from the Golden State. Specifically, residents of densely populated and high-priced cities, including Miami, Orlando, and Tampa, were eyeing more affordable metro areas such as Memphis and Knoxville, Realtor.com found.
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“We don’t have a state income tax. We have four seasons,” Knoxville-based realtor Rachael Wedekind told Insider. She added that approximately 25 percent to 30 percent of her current out-of-state clientele are from either California or Texas and “want something that feels like a little bit more of a small town.” For context, Tennessee has a population of 7 million, while Florida has 22 million people, Texas has 30 million, and California has 39 million.
In addition to being a tax-friendly locale, Tennessee is favored for its low cost of living and housing affordability, along with its stunning scenery and music history. As of September 2023, home prices were up 1.6 percent since last year, selling for a median price of $367,900. However, that’s still well below the national average, which was $410,200 in June 2023.
Michael Tyler, a California retiree, recently opted to migrate to Tennessee over Florida. He told Insider that he and his wife were able to offload their 1,200-square-foot Sacramento condo for $415,000 in just six hours. The couple, who visited the Volunteer State multiple times before making the move, ultimately snagged a four-bedroom, 2,700-square-foot house in Jonesborough, about 90 miles east of Knoxville, for a cool $400,000.
“We were very happy—giddy is almost the word for it,” explained Tyler, who spoke to Insider in February. “We love it here. The people are nice here. And of course, it is far less expensive than living in California.”
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