OKLAHOMA CITY — Americans have never hesitated to pack up the U-Haul in search of the big time, a better job or just warmer weather. But these days, domestic migrants are increasingly driven by the quest for cheaper housing.

The country’s fastest-growing cities are now those where housing is more affordable than average, a decisive reversal from the early years of the millennium, when easy credit allowed cities to grow without regard to housing cost and when the fastest-growing cities had housing that was less affordable than the national average. Among people who have moved long distances, the number of those who cite housing as their primary motivation for doing so has more than doubled since 2007.

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