In recent years, Americans have been moving to states in the South and West in search of better jobs, larger space, and cheaper housing. This trend continued in 2015 according to a recent report on the top states for inbound and outbound moves from United Van Lines, a long-distance moving network.
For the second time in a row, the state of Oregon ranked as the top move-in destination, with an inbound rate of 69%, up 3% from 2014. South Carolina and Vermont came in second and third, with inbound rates at 63% and 62%, respectively.
The top three destinations share qualities that attract population inflows--the availability of jobs, family ties, and retirement are the most cited among making the choice to move. We've added a new dimension to the United Van Lines study by pulling housing data from Metrostudy to show how affordable and healthy housing in in the top inbound and outbound moving states.
Hover over colored states in our map and you’ll find the data of new home closings for 2014 and 2015 in the top 20 states for inbound and outbound moves. Please note that our analysis uses data from January to October during both 2015 and 2014.
Nine out of 10 most popular inbound states have seen significant year-over-year growth in new home closings, with the exception of Vermont, which stayed primarily flat. The burgeoning local markets have more or less benefited from higher demand caused by a huge number of people flocking to those states. It’s worth noting that several states in the West—Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, and Washington—reported double-digit growth in new home closings, at 13.50%, 18.40% 19.28%, and 16.89%, respectively, outperforming traditionally prominent markets like Texas and Florida.
In addition, new home closings climbed in South Carolina, Nevada, and the District of Columbia, despite declines in existing home closings (at least for the first 10 months in 2015). Considering the fierce competition from the resale market, growth in new home sales in these states is noteworthy, as BUILDER has reported before.
Median new home prices went up in the majority of the top 10 inbound states, which could be associated with booming local markets driven by stronger demand from buyers. Oregon, Vermont, and Washington have witnessed double-digit increases in median home price at 11.00%, 10.47% and 11.59%, respectively.
Oregon and Washington in particular have seen notable pricing growth, coupled with positive growth in new home closings. These two western-coastal states have both benefited from a vigorous job market fueled by high technology and e-commerce industries. Most buyers in the two booming markets were looking to shop middle-tier, entry-level homes priced between $250,000 and $500,000. In the Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro, Ore.-Wash. area, for instance, about 66% of the 4,310 total closings fall into that price range, according to a Housing Intelligence report from Metrostudy.
The District of Columbia, is the only state among the top inbound states with a median price exceeding $500,000, and is also the only state that saw price depreciation (by 2.85%) alongside and 8.67% increase in new home closings.
New home closings in the top 10 move-out states paint a mixed picture. West Virginia, the slowest market in terms of closing volume (141 new homes closed in 2015), went through a price hike as high as 30.49%. Expensive markets (with median price exceeding $400,000) such as Massachusetts, Maryland, and New Jersey, saw new home closings squeezed by high prices and population outflows. New York, however, still reported 19.72% more closings on new homes despite an 18.52% price appreciation.
Once again, the housing data that we’ve obtained from Metrostudy only cover the first 10 months (from January to October) of both 2014 and 15, because November and December figures are not yet finalized.
To view the data we've used for this mash-up, view the full spreadsheet.