Where Baltimore-area residents would rather be
Real estate search site Trulia says the Baltimore region is seventh on the list of metro areas with the weakest demand among the online search crowd -- specifically, more renters and homeowners looking to move out than in.
For every search on Trulia by someone outside the region checking out places for sale or rent here, there are two (or more specifically 2.2) searches by people in our area looking somewhere else. The company, which ranked the 100 largest metro areas on search demand, says big regions tend to have more people looking to leave than to arrive.
Maryland overall has seen more going than coming in recent years, starting at the height of the housing boom and continuing in a bigger way afterward, according to the state Department of Planning's analysis of IRS migration data.
That doesn't mean the population dropped, though -- it grew. As a planning agency chart in an earlier analysis shows, births outnumber deaths and international migration is also adding to the mix, even as state-to-state migration subtracts.
Trulia says Baltimore-area residents searching online for apartments and homes outside the region are most frequently checking out these places:
1. The Washington area
2. The Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick mini-metro area (usually lumped in with the D.C. area, but not always)
3. The York-Hanover area in Pennsylvania
4. New York City and environs (an area that reaches New Jersey)
5. The Philadelphia area
But what about the people who live elsewhere and are checking us out? Trulia's list made me go "whaa?" -- here's why:
It's an eerily similar list.
1. The Washington area
2. The Bethesda-Rockville-Frederick area
3. The NYC area
4. The Philadelphia area
5. The Salisbury area
A case of the grass is always greener?
All that's missing in this list compared with the first one is York -- York County tends to draw Baltimore-area workers looking for cheaper housing, and I don't think York County-to-Baltimore moves are as common. (Certainly Maryland sends more people to Pennsylvania than the other way around.)
People also tend to move in greater numbers from the pricier Washington area to Baltimore than vice versa, though the gap narrowed as the recession set in. I suppose we'll find out down the road whether the Trulia search results suggest a change or if it's just wishful lookylooing.
Oh, and No. 3 on the weakest search-demand list, with 2.5 outbound searches for every inbound one? That's D.C. (No. 1 is Newark, N.J.)
The top 10 at the other end -- places getting more lookers-in than lookers-out -- is filled with Florida communities. Trulia looked at searches in October, November and December, so weather might have helped there.
Where are you looking to move, if you're looking?