Politics and local laws are driving buyers' relocation decisions, one-third of real estate agents reported, according to a new survey from national real estate brokerage firm Redfin today.

While housing affordability and living close to job centers have traditionally outweighed political preferences or local laws, the pandemic-driven rise in remote work has given more Americans the flexibility to factor in political preferences when deciding which metro area to call home, Redfin said.

“I’m definitely seeing more relocations to Florida based on a preference for our local laws, because we have a tax paradise here,” Angelina Zalaquett, a real estate agent with The Keyes Company in Miami Beach, Fla., told Financial Advisor magazine. “We don’t pay two taxes in Florida like people in New York, New Jersey and California do, so that drives a number of people with the money and flexibility to move here.”

Florida has been increasingly attractive for both workers and retirees because there are no state or local taxes levied on personal income or distributions from pensions, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, IRAs and military retirement pay.

Half a million people moved out of New York State in 2022 and more than 91,000 of them moved to Florida, according to U.S. Census data.

“Political reasons” are playing a larger role than ever before in decisions to relocate, Clever Real Estate Trends reported.

“Most of the clients I work with who are relocating come here to get out of California because of politics and migration in the state,” Felicia Barber, a Redfin real estate agent in Dallas, said. “The people I talk to who want to relocate to Texas from California, that’s the reason they give.”

Many buyers are also relocating for jobs and because their companies are located in or moving to Texas, she added. More than 102,000 California residents moved to Texas in 2022, while a little more than 42,000 Texans made California their new home last year, according to census data.

A record share of homebuyers relocated to a different metro area in 2023, according to Redfin, which reported that 26% of homebuyers were looking to relocate to a different part of the country.

“Some of the most common migration routes for homebuyers last year were from blue states to red or purple states: San Francisco to Austin; Seattle to Phoenix; New York to Orlando and other parts of Florida. That’s due largely to housing affordability, but some homebuyers moved because they wanted to live in a more conservative place,” Redfin reported.

State and local laws and politics have also become increasingly important “as Americans become more partisan, with Democrats and Republicans drifting further apart on issues like climate change, immigration and education,” the company suggested.

Buyers have also become more keenly aware of state laws regarding partisan issues like abortion and gun control, with many Americans reporting they would prefer to live in a place with laws that align with their views, Redfin said.

While many Americans report moving to more conservative states, Austin, Texas-based Redfin agent Andrew Vallejo said he has helped clients leave Texas because of concerns that the state was too conservative.

“I know at least 10 people who have moved away from Texas in the last year, mainly because they don’t agree with state laws,” Vallejo said in a statement. “They all moved to the West Coast, to blue places where the policies align better with their personal views, specifically when it comes to women’s reproductive rights and LGBTQ rights.”

Many Americans prefer living in a place where not only the laws, but their neighbors align with their political views, Redfin said. In fact, “42% of Americans are hesitant to move to a place where they’d be in the political minority,” Redfin reported in 2020.