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Study Finds Most Movers Want to Stay Near Home State

Rising mortgage rates and persistently steep prices are putting a damper on the previously hot U.S. housing market, causing it to slow significantly. Even so, people are still looking to buy homes. And in some cases, those homebuyers are planning to move out of state.

But where are movers likely to go? Are they staying in their state or venturing somewhere new? To answer these questions, LendingTree looked at data from Jan. 1, 2022, through Oct. 10, 2022, to analyze the moving patterns of homebuyers in each of the nation’s 50 states.

While a majority of movers look to stay in state, a significant share look to move elsewhere. And some states are more popular destinations for these would-be movers than others.

Key findings:

  • On average, 82.66% of movers look to stay in the state where they live. People tend to form social and economic ties with the areas where they live, while the high costs of moving out of state can incentivize movers to remain in the same state. That said, a lower percentage of movers are looking to stay in their state than during the height of the pandemic, when an average of 85.38% of movers wanted to remain in their states.
  • Texas residents love the Lone Star State.Texas has the highest percentage of residents looking to move within state lines at 91.66%, down from 93.33% from March 2020 through September 2021. Not only is Texas popular among its residents, but its relatively low home prices and lack of a state income tax help make it the second most popular destination for out-of-state movers.
  • New York and Hawaii have the highest percentage of residents looking to leave. Just 55.25% of New York state movers and 57.17% of Hawaiians want to stay in their state. High costs of living — exacerbated by persistently high inflation and rising mortgage rates — likely push many residents in these states to consider moving elsewhere. This could help to explain why the shares of movers looking to stay in New York state and Hawaii have fallen from 73.35% and 78.06%, respectively, earlier in the pandemic.
  • Many out-of-state movers don’t go far.The most popular new destination state for homebuyers in 24 states bordered the state they were leaving.
  • For out-of-state movers, Florida is the No. 1 destination. Florida is the favorite out-of-state destination for mortgage shoppers in 19 of the 50 states. The Sunshine State has a long history of bringing in visitors and new residents, particularly retirees, thanks to a mix of factors including no state individual income tax and, of course, its sunny weather. Florida also retains residents with the fifth-highest share of movers looking to stay in state.

States with the highest rate of movers looking to stay in state

No. 1: Texas

  • Percentage of movers staying in state: 91.66%
  • Percentage of movers relocating out of state: 8.34%
  • Most popular destination state: Florida 
  • Percentage of out-of-state movers looking to move to the most popular destination state: 11.34%

No. 2: Michigan

  • Percentage of movers staying in state: 89.48%
  • Percentage of movers relocating out of state: 10.52%
  • Most popular destination state: Florida
  • Percentage of out-of-state movers looking to move to the most popular destination state: 20.18%

No. 3: Ohio

  • Percentage of movers staying in state: 89.38%
  • Percentage of movers relocating out of state: 10.62%
  • Most popular destination state: Florida
  • Percentage of out-of-state movers looking to move to the most popular destination state: 20.18%

 

States with the highest rate of movers looking to head out of state

No. 1: New York

  • Percentage of movers staying in state: 55.25%
  • Percentage of movers relocating out of state: 44.75%
  • Most popular destination state: New Jersey 
  • Percentage of out-of-state movers looking to move to the most popular destination state: 21.57%

No. 2: Hawaii

  • Percentage of movers staying in state: 57.17% 
  • Percentage of movers relocating out of state: 42.83%
  • Most popular destination state: Texas
  • Percentage of out-of-state movers looking to move to the most popular destination state: 14.46%

No. 3: Vermont

  • Percentage of movers staying in state: 75.50%
  • Percentage of movers relocating out of state: 24.50%
  • Most popular destination state: Florida
  • Percentage of out-of-state movers looking to move to the most popular destination state: 17.52%

When Americans move, most don’t go too far

With the rise of remote work, Americans may have more freedom to buy a home wherever they choose, even if that place is far from where they live and work. However, the LendingTree data shows that Americans tend to stick near the states where they live. And if they switch states, they often go to one nearby rather than one across the country. While the reasons why and where someone chooses to move will vary by person, there are a few key reasons why most people don’t seem particularly keen on moving out of state.

Though remote work is fairly popular, a majority of Americans aren’t working from home. As a result, it can often make more sense for movers to stay in the same area so they don’t have to go through the difficulty of finding a new job. Moving a long distance is also considerably more expensive than moving a short distance. Finally, even when a person doesn’t need to worry about their job or the cost of moving, the emotional and social ties they’ve formed with their current area can provide another powerful disincentive to moving far away.

Ultimately, while seeking out greener pastures in a new state may be tempting for many, the drawbacks of a long-distance move often make staying near where they live the preferred option for most Americans.

To read the full report, including more data, charts and methodology, click here.

About Author: Demetria Lester

Demetria C. Lester is a reporter for DS News and MReport, with more than six years of writing experience. She has served as Editor-in-Chief at Northlake College and staff writer at her alma mater, the University of Texas at Arlington. She has covered events such as the Byron Nelson, Pac-12 Conferences, the Women in Dallas Film Festival, to freelance work with the Dallas Wings and D Magazine. Currently located in Dallas, Texas, she is an avid jazz lover and reader. She can be reached at [email protected]
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