St. Louisans Secretly Want to Move to .... Chicago?


Many St. Louisans looking to move to another city have their sights set on Chicago. - PHOTO COURTESY OF FLICKR / ROMAN BOED
  • Photo courtesy of Flickr / Roman Boed
  • Many St. Louisans looking to move to another city have their sights set on Chicago.

Don't try to hide it any longer, St. Louis: You secretly like Chicago.

Real estate website Redfin published a study Monday examining U.S. migration. The study looked at where Redfin's home hunters in this year's first quarter were looking to move, as well as where the users were located — based entirely on their search activity. And since this is based on anonymous internet activity rather than self-reported, you could think of it as a little window into our secret longings.

And yes, we have longings. Of one million site users examined, nearly one in five looked for houses outside their own metro area. And with the help of Redfin's handy-dandy interactive map (located about halfway down this page), you can see where St. Louisans are largely looking to move.

A full 22.1 percent are looking for homes in another area, which is even higher than the national average of 19.8 percent. And for 17.3 percent of St. Louisans, that area is Chicago.

Yes, Chicago.

Beyond the Windy City, Redfin found that migrating St. Louisans mainly were looking west, at cities such as Seattle, the Bay Area, San Diego, Phoenix and Las Vegas.

So, why the love affair with Chicago? It's a complicated one, one that Redfin wasn't able to answer with this particular study. Alex Starace, a spokesman for Redfin, says that its location as the closest major metro to St. Louis might be a driving factor — as are jobs.

St. Louis also defied one of the trends Redfin noted in its report — that of users looking to move to areas that are less expensive. Cities that ranked highest in net outflow, including San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles, had residents largely looking at housing in less expensive cities — yet that obviously was not the case in St. Louis' situation. We have Samuel Adams tastes on a Stag budget.

Now, all these fancy statistics may have you wondering: From which city are people most interested in moving here? Glad you asked:

We see you, Chicago!

You can read more about the study, and check out more info on the interactive map, at

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