Fewer North Americans were on the move last year, with the overall number of interstate and interprovince moves in the U.S. and Canada last year at 75,427, down from 77,705 in 2015, according to an annual report from moving company Atlas Van Lines. The company specializes in corporate relocations, household moving and specialized shipment of high-value items.
Idaho topped the list of states and provinces with the highest percentage of inbound moves at 63%, followed by Oregon (62%) and North Carolina (61%). The states with the highest percentage of outbound moves were Wyoming (63%), Nebraska (61%) and Illinois (60%).
For the fifth-consecutive year, California (14,995), Texas (11,973) and Florida (10,231) reported the highest number of total moves.
While the moving industry has generally contracted over the past five years, there has been a consistent increase in moves during that time up until this year. Meanwhile, the states that people are moving to have changed as Americans look further afield for work following the recession.
New Hampshire was the only inbound state in the Northeast this year, while Michigan was the only inbound state in the Midwest, both shifting from balanced to inbound in 2016. Washington, DC, also went from balanced to inbound this year.
Inbound states recorded more than 55% of moving shipments into the state while outbound recorded more than 55% out of the state. Balanced states had rough parity between the share of inbound and outbound shipments.
Home prices in many inbound states on this year’s list are responding to the population influx amid tight inventory conditions. Prices in Idaho and Oregon, which topped the inbound list, continued to rise above the national rate in November with increases of 8.2% and 10.3%, respectively, according to the latest CoreLogic Home Price Index.
A lack of housing supply and forecasts of further price rises this year are adding to concerns of housing affordability as wage growth fails to keep pace with living costs in many parts of the country. A report by RealtyTrac found that housing affordability nationwide fell to its lowest point in eight years during the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, a Zillow report this summer noted that companies seeking to expand their footprint to less-expensive real estate in the Midwest and Rust Belt are poised to spur migration to those regions.
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