Americans Are Moving Less, And It’s A Long-Term Trend

Despite the insanity of the pandemic homebuying frenzy, Americans aren’t moving as often as they used to.

Many people moved in 2020 and the beginning of 2021, while interest rates were historically low and remote work allowed people to explore more affordable metros for the first time. But numbers show that by 2022, that number had declined.

Data analyzed by the National Association of Realtors found that the moving rate has been declining overall for the past six years.

“Millions of people moved during the pandemic, driven by the opportunity to work remotely, the desire for more space, and better affordability. Nevertheless, the moving rate has declined for the last six years. While the Census Bureau hasn’t yet released the moving rate for 2022, another source of migration data – the United States Postal Service change-of-address data – demonstrates a persistent declining migration trend for 2022 as well. Nearly 70% of the ZIP codes across the United States experienced fewer inbound moves in 2022 compared to 2021,” Nadia Evangelou, senior economist and director of real estate research for the National Association of Realtors wrote in a blog published on Monday.

The states that experienced the largest influx of people in 2022 were Florida (318,855), Texas (230,961), North Carolina (99,796) and South Carolina (84,030).

“Positive net domestic migration and positive net international migration significantly boosted population growth in these areas. Florida was the fastest-growing state in 2022, with an annual population increase of 1.9% within a year. In fact, that was the first time since 1957 that Florida’s population grew faster than anywhere else across the United States,” Evangelou wrote.

California (-343,230), New York (-299,557), and Illinois (-141,656) saw the largest net domestic outmigration.

The migration decline has been attributed to Americans having fewer children, marriage rates declining, and the cost of moving rising.

Soaring rents have made it more difficult for young people to move on a whim in hopes of opportunity, as they could in past decades. Economic uncertainty can also convince potential movers to stay close to home.

“With some economic uncertainty, people just pause their plans,” said Edward Berchick, a senior population scientist at Zillow.

But as a widespread change that impacts all demographics, it’s difficult to pinpoint one or two causes.

“The decline in migration is really widespread,” Abigail Wozniak, an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis, told the New York Times in 2019. “It applies to all demographic groups — younger and older workers, renters and homeowners, more-educated and less-educated workers.”

Migration has a huge impact on a metro’s general health. Job market recovery, for example, has been twice as fast in the top ten most popular moving destinations than nationwide. All have recovered the jobs lost at the beginning of the pandemic and now have 5% more jobs on average than in March 2020.

Follow Us On Twitter:

Read More Articles:

They Used To Be A Pizza Hut: Finding New Purposes For Commercial Spaces

The Hangover: Staffing Cuts And Enhanced Efficiencies Are On The Docket For Lenders In 2023

Listen To The Mortgage Note Podcast