2022 Moving trends report

This year is almost over and it’s time to look back at the moving trends that stood out. People were moving a lot in 2022 and there are quite a few things to mention. So, Master Moving Guide presents you with the 2022 Moving Trends Report. We will talk about specific trends and locations that became “trendy” to move to. If you are planning to move before the end of this year, this report could be your guide and help you prepare for the move. Stay tuned.

What were some 2022 moving trends?

Before digging into the most popular locations to move to and why moving to those places became a trend, let’s talk about some patterns that were repeated enough times to be called a trend. According to the country’s best residential movers, this is what was happening a lot in 2022, so let’s start.

Most of the moves were moving within the same metro area

Many people have the idea that most relocations others plan are to another state, possibly cross-country or interstate. However, that was not the case in 2022. Actually, according to USPS data, about 84% of people moved within the same area last year. Meanwhile, 7.5% of people moved within the same state and only 0.28% left their metro area for relocation. As per usual, dense and more expensive metro areas experienced the most moves.

A fasmily between packing boxes
Most people did not travel too far for their move in 2022.

Although COVID changed the situation and the numbers are decreasing compared to pre-Covid, some patterns do not change. Even in larger metro areas, most people still did not go far. This is most often due to work, commuting, family, etc. Interestingly enough, even those who moved “further” usually stayed within a radius of 100 to 150 miles. However, long-distance moves are becoming more popular. This is due to the popularity and rise of remote jobs.

Suburban counties were very popular in 2022

Suburbs have attracted a lot of home buyers in 2022. That is why suburbs are definitely on the 2022 Moving Trends Report. This is nothing new, though. Buying homes in the suburbs is a pre-existing trend that was accelerated by the pandemic. During the pandemic, 82% of urban centers had more people moving out than moving in. On the other hand, suburban counties saw 91% more people moving in than out. Another trend that reappeared this year is moving to less populated and nontraditional cities. This was thanks to the pandemic that made people want to be more isolated and remote, further from the possibility of getting sick. If you were also thinking about moving to a suburb, make sure you check out the best US suburbs to live in. There are plenty to choose from.

An interesting thing about this is that, while a lot of people decided to move to remote, small towns where they can be “isolated”, many experts predicted that they will “find themselves bored or wanting to go back to the city over the next few years.” However, if we are talking about retirement, moving to such places has been a trend for many decades. Some of the small cities and towns that even young people started moving to due to the pandemic are among the best US cities to retire in.

Why are so many people moving to the suburbs?

The main reason why people decide to move to the suburbs is due to demographics. Most millennials are now in their “home-buying” phase, and most of them are looking for areas with good quality of life, lower costs, and good school districts. Suburbs are where most of these things can be found together. With the possibility of working from home, they don’t have to focus on living in the metro area, which makes them drawn to the suburbs even more. If you are a millennial planning a move, make sure you check out the best cities for millennials in the USA before making the final decision.

Moving to suburbs is on the 2022 Moving Trends Report
Moving to suburbs is on the 2022 moving trends report

Temporary moves were happening due to the economics

Data shows that most requests for address changes were due to temporary filers. The increase in temporary moves happened especially due to the pandemic, especially in large urban areas like San Francisco and New York City. The economy is the overall reason, but here are some more specific ones that had people relocating:

  • Job opportunities
  • Remote jobs with a lower cost of living
  • Natural disasters. like the wildfires in California
  • The overall cost of living
  • The housing market
  • Relocating businesses due to state policies

The last one had an effect on a lot of businesses. Many establishments relocated to a different state due to policies states were making regarding Covid. Since a lot of places went out of business due to the pandemic, others did what they could to keep their businesses going and decided to go to states that had less strict (or more efficient) Covid related policies.

This 2022 moving trends report can’t go without mentioning remote work

Due to the pandemic, a lot of companies had their employees work from home. Some of them decided to go back to offices later on, and some realized they could be working like this. This gave people a lot of flexibility. Also, many people realized they like remote work and it gave them a lot more freedom. Some even quit their jobs when it was time to return to the office and looked for remote jobs. Among those people, there is a fair share of those who moved to more affordable places where they can spend less and save more while working remotely. Usually, they did not move too far, maybe to a different city in the same state, but there are also those who decided to make a bigger, further move. Many Americans who started traveling after the travel ban was lifted even moved overseas.

Woman working on her laptop
A lot of people have moved to more affordable places in 2022 due to remote jobs

This created a new trend that made large cities that used to dominate the real estate and housing market slip. There is also a trend of people moving out of California, New York, Illinois, Washington, and New Jersey. The people moving out of these states are usually moving to Texas, California (smaller cities), Florida, Colorado, and New York (the suburbs). If you are working remotely and are thinking about moving, make sure to check what are the most affordable US cities for digital nomads and where you could find your new community.

People moved less than they did in the past

It’s understandable that there were fewer moves last and this year, due to the pandemic and the economy. Actually, between 2020 and 2022 only 8% of Americans moved. That’s the lowest percentage ever recorded since the federal government started tracking movers in 1948. Isn’t that crazy? Also, young Americans are way more likely to move than older ones. Gen Z (between 18 and 24) is currently most likely to move, with 32% of them relocating during the pandemic. Renters were more likely to move, which is not surprising. 51% of renters said they’d moved into their current home within the past two years, a survey shows. If you are in any of these categories and plan on moving alone, check the top US cities for singles, it will help you decide.

Where are Americans moving to?

As we said, most Americans didn’t go too far while moving. However, even though the average move distance in the US was 51.1 miles, more people moved to further destinations than they have in the past. States that have been popular for those moving this year were Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina, which is not news. These states have been popular in the past as well. Montana and Maine are on the list too, which might be a little surprising. Many people choose these states because some of them are known as states with no income tax and the lowest tax burdens, which makes life a lot more affordable.

A new star is Mississippi which had a 25% growth in inflow in 2022. Hawaii and Alaska had great inflow too, they have lower overall search volumes but did not lose a lot of residents due to moving. California, New Jersey, and Illinois are in the negative. These states had more people moving out than in. The cities that had the highest inflows are Ocala, FL, Portland, Maine, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Eagle Rock, North Carolina; and Missoula, Montana. These cities are rich in different nature, so you can tell that people moving in 2022 wanted to go to quiet places with nature.

Empty street in Portland, Maine
People are moving to smaller and more quiet cities and towns

The most popular large city that people have been moving to is Tampa, FL. This is not the only city in Florida that was popular. Plenty of people also moved to Orlando, Jacksonville, and Miami. Some big Texas cities have also welcomed plenty of people. Those are Dallas, Austin, Houston, and San Antonio. The most searched route overall was from San Francisco, CA to New York, NY.

Where are retirees moving to?

When it’s time to retire, almost all retirees want to go somewhere a bit remote, quiet and cozy. Sometimes it is back to their hometown (if they come from a different city), and sometimes they look for a new destination. Most people retiring chose to move to Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina. Seems like North Carolina was the most popular one this year since it experienced a 3% increase in inflow compared to last year. Montana and Wyoming were the popular locations in the mountain west.

What states are rising stars on the 2022 moving trends report?

While states were usually always on the top of the list of states with the most moves, the pandemic has shifted that a little bit. Now we have some new states that are becoming more popular and have seen more people moving in. In 2022.

  • Mississippi had more people move out than move in. However, in 2021 and 2022, that has changed.
  • West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Alabama have also welcomed plenty of new residents, which was not the case in the past
Downtown Oklahoma City is on the 2022 Moving Trends Report
This year, Oklahoma made it to the 2022 Moving Trends Report

The main reason why these states are becoming popular is that they are much more affordable and can offer the same mild weather as their increasingly unaffordable southern neighbors. With a few popular states such as California, New York, and others, where people were rushing to move before, they have become too expensive. Now that people are noticing that more and more, they are choosing these “less popular” states that have amazing qualities. If you decide to make the same move from the other side of the country, make sure you research the price of coast-to-coast moves and prepare yourself.

What states were most and least popular in 2022?

Based on the third quarter of 2022, there were some states that were more popular than others. Based on the in-to-out ratio, this is how they are ranked: Hawaii, Alaska, Maine, Montana, South Carolina, North Carolina, Vermont, Tennessee, Florida, and Wyoming. More people came or stayed in these states than any other, which indicates that the quality of life is good in these locations.

When it comes to keeping existing residents, Hawaii and Alaska seem to be the best at that. If we are being realistic, other than affordability or quality of life, this is partially due to their geographical locations and amazing nature. It is kind of a hassle to move out of Hawaii or Alaska, but many wouldn’t do it anyway. States like these are more and more popular as Americans work remotely more. People start appreciating outdoor activities and time outside more, therefore they go where they can find that.

You will find some of the most beautiful spots in the USA in these states. On the southern side of the nation, there are Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee, which also welcomed more people than they said goodbye to. These states also offer great weather and outdoor activity choices.

Beautiful beach in Hawaii, which is on the 2022 moving trends report
People are leaving Hawaii less because of its beautiful nature

Which are the least popular states in 2022?

The least popular states might surprise you because some of them used to be very popular in the past. According to the in-to-out ratio, these are the less-wanted states this year: California, New Jersey, Illinois, New York, Maryland, Louisiana, Connecticut, Utah, Rhode Island, and Nebraska. The densely populated urban states are the least popular destinations, seems.

This is because people are fed up with constant crowds, traffic jams, and expensive costs of living. However, these states became this way due to so many people rushing to move there in the past. So, it all, sort of, came full circle. The economic impact of moving in the United States has really transformed certain states and cities. It made city life unappealing to people, which did not use to be the case.

Why are people moving out of these states?

As we mentioned, affordability and being densely populated are the main challenges for some of these states. For example, New Jersey residents pay the country’s highest property taxes. On top of that, NJ residents deal with crazy high real estate and rent prices, while corporate headquarters are leaving the state in large numbers. Not quite the best scenario. Nearby New York and Connecticut are facing a very similar issue, so it only makes sense for residents of these states to go look for a new home somewhere else.

A bit further, states that used to be powerhouses are now struggling too. California and Illinois are seeing a lot of residents leave. These two states are losing employers, so the residents would rather relocate than risk their livelihood. An interesting fact is that you can even make money from moving. There are states that pay you $10000 to move there. Make sure you check these states out before making a move.

A sign saying the store is closed
Many employers are leaving states that used to be popular, so their residents are moving out too

What were the most popular cities to move to in 2022?

We have mentioned some of them, but let’s talk some more. Seems like the trend in 2022 were small cities with a lot of nature. Most of them are in the southeastern states. Based on their in-to-out ratio, these were the most popular cities: Ocala, Florida, Portland, Maine, Chattanooga, Tennessee, Eagle Rock, North Carolina, Missoula, Montana, Asheville, North Carolina, Honolulu, Hawaii, Anchorage, Alaska, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, and Sarasota, Florida. The most popular one, Ocala, is home to some 60,000 people and it’s known for its startup scene. Many other cities from this list have attracted people due to nature and outdoor opportunities.

Is Southern affordability on the 2022 moving trends report?

Maybe Southern affordability can make a small appearance on the 2022 moving trends report. However, it doesn’t seem like it will stay there for too long. Migration reports show that only two cities on the top ten list had median home prices above the $428,000 national average in the South. It seems like the rising real estate prices have cooled interest in cities that were the most popular before. With popularity comes expansiveness, so these desirable places became some of the most expensive cities in the US, which keeps pushing people away.

What cities are people leaving the most?

We are sure no city would like to see its name on this list, however, some cities did say goodbye to more people than they have welcomed. We have already mentioned the states with the unfavorable in-to-out ratio, but let’s see what cities/districts exactly were hit the hardest. They are Bronx, NY, Staten Island, NY, Murrieta, CA, Alameda, CA, Falls Church, VA, Trenton, NJ, Astoria, NY, Woodbridge, VA, Huntington Beach, CA, and Costa Mesa, CA.

Three out of these 10 cities have real estate prices over $1 million. This explains why a lot of the residents are deciding to move. The median home cost in Alameda will cost you some $1,400,000. When you realize that there are other cities and states where you can spend way less and still enjoy the same amenities, you will think twice, at least.

Bridge and cars in the Bronx
The Bronx has seen a lot of people move out in 2022

What urban areas are on the 2022 moving trends report?

Even though we spoke a lot about the rise of small cities and towns’ popularity, let’s make something clear. Urban areas are still in the game and many people have moved to different urban areas, as well. These are the top 10 cities with the highest search volumes. Most people that moved to large cities moved to Tampa, Florida, Orlando, Florida, Charlotte, North Carolina, Raleigh, North Carolina, Nashville, Tennessee, Jacksonville, Florida, Colorado Springs, Colorado, Denver, Colorado, Boston, Massachusetts, and Dallas, Texas.

Most people looked up the quality of life by state 2022 report to make sure they are making the right decision. Seems like Florida was the most popular, with most cities on the list being in this state. As a matter of fact, the average housing price in the most popular large city – Tampa FL is $437,702, which is right around the national average.

Concluding the 2022 moving trends report

Even though there are some similarities between the 2022 moving trends report and reports before this year, there are also new city names and numbers that have changed. Migration is happening each day and people are changing the narrative and routine. Make sure you get fresh migration news before planning a move. We have concluded a few important things.

Cozy house with light in the forest
Quiet, cozy locations are taking over the 2022 moving trends report

In 2022, most people decided to move to more quiet and relaxed areas. With the possibility of remote work, thousands of people said goodbye to large cities and crowds and found their safe haven in peaceful little cities and towns. Some large cities that offer decent costs of living and are considered affordable manage to stay on the positive side of the 2022 moving trends report. However, many cities that very very popular in the past are seeing large numbers of people leave to look for better opportunities. All of this data together is, for sure, changing the dynamics of moving in the USA. If you are planning a move, make sure to do thorough research. Good luck!

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