Moving and relocation company United Van Lines recently revealed that a substantial number of Americans relocated to western and southern states throughout 2018, according to its Annual National Movers Study.

“The data collected by United Van Lines aligns with longer-term migration patterns to southern and western states, trends driven by factors like job growth, lower costs of living, state budgetary challenges and more temperate climates,” University of California Professor and Economist Michael Stoll said.

The analysis, which tracks the state-to-state migration patterns of UVL’s customers, discovered that New Jersey experienced the most outbound migration. In this state, 66.8% of relocating New Jerseyans migrated to a different part of the country.

Interestingly, UVL highlights that Vermont had the highest percentage of inbound migration, with 72.6% of movers relocating within the Green Mountain State. This was followed by Oregon, which had 63.8% of inbound moves.

“Unlike a few decades ago, retirees are leaving California, instead choosing other states in the Pacific West and Mountain West," Stoll continued. “We’re also seeing young professionals migrating to vibrant, metropolitan economies, like Washington, D.C. and Seattle.”

These are the states in the Mountain and Pacific West regions that experienced an increase in inbound moves:

  • OregonIdaho 62.4% of moves were inbound
  • Nevada 61.8% of moves were inbound
  • Washington 58.8% of moves were inbound
  •  South Dakota 57% of moves were inbound
  • Arizona 60.2% of moves were inbound

Notably, UVL explains that the uptick of Southern inbound moves was driven primarily by job changes. In this region, South Carolina and North Carolina had the highest percentage of inbound moves, with 59.9% of South Carolinian and 57% of North Carolinian moves being inbound.

In December 2018, LendingTree’s data also pointed to a surge in Southern migration.

According to its migration report, Florida was the No. 1 destination for homebuyers moving from 15 of the 50 states. In fact, 9.1% of all purchase mortgage requests were made for Florida, and 12.4% of out-of-state movers requested the state as well.

However, when LendingTree analyzed destination states according to population size, South Carolina scored the highest. In this state, mortgage loan requests were 52% greater than suggested based on its share of the national population.

“Rising mortgage rates are exacerbating affordability issues that have been driving people out of expensive coastal metros for the past few years,” Redfin Chief Economist Daryl Fairweather said in the report. “With rates no longer near historic lows, buyers are increasingly cost-conscious, seeking more affordable homes in low-tax states in the South and middle of the country.”

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