National Market Trends

Where are people moving?

Summer marks the peak of moving season, which typically runs from the beginning of May through September and peaks in July.

Why the seasonality? As anyone who has packed up and driven a U-Haul in the middle of a blustery, unpredictable December can tell you, moving during winter in most parts of the country is not ideal. But the reasons for moving this time of year have more to do with good timing than avoiding the awful weather.

It’s easier for parents to relocate school-aged children in the summer months, and summer is when recent college graduates are finishing up their studies and making the move from campus to a city. Of the 40 million people who move every year in the United States, over half of them move during the summer months.

We know why so many people move during the summer, but we at Neighborhoods.com got curious: where is everybody going?

As it turns out, they’re heading to one of three places: the next county over, Los Angeles, or Texas.

Graphic by Neighborhoods.com

Texas

In collaboration with our friends at SpareFoot.com, and according to the data from the Census Bureau, we learned that, once people are in Texas, they really don’t want to leave. If Texans leave their home county, they’re most likely to move simply to other metropolitan areas within Texas (for example, if you’re moving from Dallas, you’re more likely to end up in Austin, Houston, or San Antonio than, say, Phoenix). Out of all the markets we studied in Texas, not a single out-of-state county showed up in the top six areas for relocation. Save for Tennessee, no other state shows such loyalty. (As for The Volunteer State, when residents are not moving within the state, they seem to be quite happily volunteering to move to Florida, with Panama City, Pensacola, and Jacksonville being the top locations.) 

However, according to SpareFoot.com’s data, if Texans do leave the state, it’s for small- to mid-market cities in the region. Dallasites are migrating to Shreveport, Tulsa, Wichita, and Salt Lake City, while Houstonians are setting their eyes towards Florida, with their top three spots for relocation being Orlando, Jacksonville, and Tampa.

The exception—as always seems to be the case in Texas—is Austinites, who have their sights set on the coast, with New York City and Los Angeles taking the top spots, and Las Vegas thrown in for good measure.

Los Angeles

The city with the most out-of-state transplants moving in was Los Angeles, which is a surprise given the media’s coverage of the exodus from California. What’s not so surprising is that L.A. is popular among those already in the neighborhood (Las Vegas and Phoenix) and from cities with a less-forgiving climate (Chicago and Washington, D.C.).

Angelenos, meanwhile, seem to be returning the favor to their Southwest counterparts, preferring Las Vegas and Phoenix to other states, while those staying closer to home migrate to San Diego, San Bernardino, and Riverside.

It also looks like Miamians are trading in their city’s sunny skies and beautiful beaches for the sunny skies and beautiful beaches of Los Angeles. But, when they decide to keep it closer to home, they opt for the economic powerhouse of Atlanta and the sleepy, lush Savannah, which is really just an East Coast version of New Orleans, which came in third for moving Miamians, according to SpareFoot.com.

The Next County Over

But, for the most part, the data tells the story that we’re all familiar with: If you leave the city, you move to a nearby suburb. If you leave a more seasonal area altogether, you’re in search of warmer weather. If you’re from an urban area, you’re looking for another urban area (the top three destinations outside of the Washington D.C. area are New York City, Chicago, and Philadelphia, respectively). And if you’re from Texas, then it looks like you know something the rest of the country doesn’t.

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