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Workers fleeing coastal cities opting for Madison over MSP

COVID-19 has pushed people out of major cities, a new report says.

Workers appear to be leaving big cities and settling in smaller ones amid the COVID-19 pandemic, according to McKinsey's the Future of Work After COVID-19 report

McKinsey reports outbound move requests from large cities like San Francisco and New York City were 128% and 52% higher than the national average, respectively, in September and August of last year. 

And, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and so many people working remotely, it appears those workers are fleeing big cities and settling in smaller, less expensive ones.

McKinsey analyzed LinkedIn data and found more workers moved to smaller cities and out of large cities in 2020 when compared to 2019, finding areas with larger populations like NYC, San Francisco and Boston, had the greatest decline in inflow-outflow ratio. 

"This could be driven either by a greater number of workers leaving these areas or by fewer people entering these areas in 2020 compared to 2019," McKinsey said. 

While other areas with smaller populations, like Madison, Wisconsin, saw greater growth in their inflow-outflow ratio.

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Madison saw a 10% increase in their inflow over outflow of workers from April-October 2019 compared to the same period in 2020. The Wisconsin capital city saw the largest growth out of the 15 areas with the greatest increase. 

On the list, the Twin Cities came in No. 15, with the Minneapolis-St. Paul area seeing a 1% increase. 

Although people may not be moving to the Twin Cities in droves, the Twin Cities real estate market was hot in 2020, setting records as people sought more space as many were forced to work from home. 

The median home price in the Twin Cities reached a record $305,000 in 2020, the local Realtors association says. In Dane County, Wisconsin, where Madison is located, the median home price in December 2020 was $320,000. the Wisconsin Realtors Association says, while Zillow estimates the median home price for Madison as $301,460.

McKinsey also looked at rent prices in big cities and smaller cities, finding rent prices rose in the smaller cities like Madison and suburbs, while big cities saw a decline in rent. 

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