Market Insights

Americans Ditch the Northeast and Head to the West… and Vermont

More than 150 years after young men were urged to go West as the U.S. pushed through its frontier, Americans are again leaving the Northeast and flocking westward.

For the sixth straight year, more people left the Northeast in 2017 than moved into the region, according to United Van Lines’ annual National Movers Study, which tracks customers’ state-to-state migration patterns. The study cited rent and cost of living, as well as climate, as factors propelling the trend.

Fifty-four percent of movers tracked in the study headed toward the mountain states, with Colorado a new addition to the list of top 10 states Americans move to in a given year. Perhaps this could be an indication multifamily could be looking up in the West – and potentially other property types as well, since more residents could mean more office space and more retail opportunities.

No. 2 on the inbound list was Oregon. In Oregon’s largest city – namely Portland, which USA Today named as one of 16 cities where it is more affordable to rent than own – strong job growth is driving multifamily demand and keeping the market stable.

The South was also popular, with 52% of total moves being inbound to states such as Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina, United Van Lines found.

The moving and relocation company said New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts were the Northeast’s biggest sources of outbound moves.

Yet two states bucked the trend.

It was a Midwest state, Illinois, that had the highest outbound rate (63%). And given the appeal of the mountain states, perhaps it should be no surprise that the Green Mountain State ended up with the highest percentage of inbound migration in 2017 (68%) – even though Vermont is very much located in the Northeast.

To find out more about properties in the West, South or other parts of the U.S., click here.

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