California residents want to move to these states the most, study shows

With sky-high mortgage rates and home prices continuing to rise, it's getting harder to purchase a home in the U.S.

Homebuyers must earn six figures to buy a home in half the major metros in the country, and in California it's even higher as the Golden State is home to the top 5 most expensive metro markets in the U.S. 

So it may not be a surprise that people are ditching California and relocating elsewhere, but where are they going?

Research conducted by real estate marketing company Hypewired examined which states people want to relocate to by analyzing Google search data.

The study looked at search terms such as "move to", "relocate to", and "homes in" followed by the name of each state, and then looked at the combined searches for each state name to find which were the most popular relocation destinations.

These are the top three states people in California want to relocate to:


  • Average house price: $302,281 (59.4% lower than in California, where average price is $744,280)


  • Average house price: $494,577 ($249,703 less expensive than California)


  • Average house price is $840,928, a 13% increase compared to California's average house price

This doesn't mean people aren't looking to move to California, however. 


The study found these are the top three states where people are searching to relocate to California:


  • The average house price in Nevada is $418,743, meaning a move to California could raise costs by $325,537.


  • In Hawaii the average house price is $840,928, which is 13% higher than the average price in California.


  • The average house in Vermont is priced at $393,838, costing $350,442 less than California.

"When first looking to relocate or move to a new area, the first step is to turn to Google for a more in-depth search for available houses and more information on the area. By analyzing the number of Google searches for terms relating to moving house, it's interesting to see which states residents are wanting to relocate to, as according to the United States Census Bureau, the average person in America will move as many as 11.7 times in their life," a Hypewired spokesperson said.

The typical American household earns about $40,000 less than the income needed to buy a median-priced home. The median household income was roughly $75,000 in 2022.