Handled Service Partner United Van Lines Releases Proprietary 2020 Migration Report

A few weeks ago, we wrote a preliminary post on 2020’s intriguing migration and real estate patterns amid the global pandemic. In it, we discussed the anticipated role remote work will play in future moves, as well as the types of residences people are expected to favor. 

Let’s take a closer look at what we’ve learned through a newly released study by our service partner, United Van Lines. The 2020 Annual United Van Lines National Movers Study reveals more valuable insights about why and where Americans relocated last year.

The Details on Migration

Sure enough, as previously stated, the COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted Americans’ decisions to move. For customers who cited COVID-19 as factor for moving last year, the top reasons were concerns for personal and family health and wellbeing (60%); wanting to live closer to family (59%); changes in employment status or work arrangements (including employers shifting to remote work), at 57%; and, finally, the desire for a lifestyle change that improves their quality of life (53%).


The study, which tracks United Van Lines' exclusive data, Idaho was the state with the highest percentage of inbound migration (70%) in 2020. And the state experiencing more than 250 outbound moves with United Van Lines for the second year in a row? New Jersey (70%), which has held the spot for the past three years.


The top inbound states are South Carolina (64%), Oregon (63%), South Dakota (62%) and Arizona (62%). Interestingly,  New York (67%), Illinois (67%), Connecticut (63%) and California (59%) were among the states seeing mass exoduses. Digging deeper, the major metropolitan areas and hotspots — think New York City (72%), Newark (72%) and Chicago (69%) — saw greater outbound migration. Meanwhile, lower-density cities like Wilmington, North Carolina (79%), and Boise, Idaho (75%), welcomed the greatest number of inbound moves.

You can get all the details here.


More Move (Search Patterns) of Note

Our previous post also looked at how the aforementioned is affecting real estate. Now, Zillow’s retrospective on 2020 moving search patterns fills in some question marks (and, perhaps, creates some new ones). Spanning everything from pie-in-the-sky wishes (a Zen garden) to pandemic-sparked needs (a large outdoor space), the study speaks volumes. It also sparks curiosity since some of the findings were... strange.

A few key insights are as follows:

  • Homes for sale in Key West were favorited 8.7 times more frequently than other nationwide listings. That includes New Yorkers, who searched for listings in balmier climes like Miami.
  • Mountain views are a thing. In fact, search traffic among out-of-towners jumped 123% in Vernal, Utah. 
  • Texans were most likely to consider moves within their own state. Likewise, 74% of searches for homes in St. Louis were from St. Louisians.
  • Natural light popped up 3,232 times in home searches, suggesting mood matters.
  • Oddly enough, 310 people searched for properties with moats and 15 people added “not haunted” to their searches.
  • “Acreage” was a top search in Bozeman, Knoxville and Nashville.


And while no one knows exactly what the next year will bring, one thing is certain: home has become the ultimate haven. Whatever your wishes or needs — be it storage for a home renovation or a move one or 20 towns over — our concierge-led moving and home services take the stress off your shoulders. Give us a shout so we can help. And be sure to check out our blog for home and moving related news, as well as ways to help your house feel like a home.

Leave a Comment