Moving can be stressful. According to a recent study by Move.org, most people consider moving more angst inducing than a divorce or a breakup. But for whatever reason, a lot of people in the United States found themselves moving in recent months.
Whether it’s job or freelance prospects, politics or needing to downsize with the changing economy, one in five people moved or knew someone who did.
Texas Real Estate experts took a look at Google Trends data for frequently searched terms regarding moving. The study factored in search levels for the phrases ‘sell house', ‘move home' and ‘move house.' Based on the analysis of phrase search levels, the research ranked the fifty states, generating a ‘Total Search Score.'
Here are the top 10 states where people were searching for options to move.
1. South Carolina
The study revealed that South Carolina ranks highest among the states for people searching the Internet for tips of moving from one house to another this year. With a total search score of 522, the 23rd most populous state ranked highly on the list, for having a smaller population. South Carolina had the highest search volume for the phrases' sell house', ‘move home,' and ‘move house' across America.
2. North Carolina
The state just trailing South Carolina in terms of house relocation search is none other than its neighbor, North Carolina. With a total search score of 521, North Carolina is the second state most interested in moving. It has the third highest proportion of the population searching for the term “move home.” The State is eleventh highest for the search term “sell home.”
“North Carolina does not tax Social Security income or military pensions, and home prices are very reasonable compared to other metropolitan areas. The state has something to offer everybody from a quality-of-life perspective,” says Brett Tushingham, CFP with Tushingham Wealth Strategies.
Arkansas is in the third spot with a 518 total search score. The Natural State has the highest level of searches for the terms “move house” and “move home.”
And guess where they want to relocate?
The Lone Star State, Texas! The state has excellent public schools, top tech cities, and no state income tax. The low home prices in the region save money on your home ownership journey – it’s no wonder why people want to move to Texas.
Although the state ranks fourth based on the total search score, Georgia has the third-highest proportion of its population searching for both the terms' move house' and ‘sell house.' The Peach State ranks 11th for the search term ‘buy house.' contributing to its overall score of 517.
With the twelfth highest search volume ranking for “move house” and eighteenth for “sell house,” Alabama is the fifth state in terms of being most interested in moving between houses this year. The Heart of Dixie has a total search score of 514.
The sixth state ranked in terms of searches by people interested in moving is Delaware, with a search score of 512. Delaware has the seventh highest search level for the term “move house”. Delawareans are also the second-highest searchers for the search term “mortgage”.
Low crime rates, no sales tax, and mesmerizing beaches can encourage a visitor to relocate permanently. Plus, Delaware's retirement tax friendliness makes it a perfect destination to retire.
With a total search score of 510, Texas was revealed as the seventh in searches related to moving house this year. Texas has the ninth-highest proportion of its population searching for the term ‘move house' and the tenth-highest for ‘sell house.'
The Remaining States
Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana fall in place as the eighth, ninth, and tenth states with high search volumes related to moving this year.
Ohio has the ninth-highest level of searches for the term ‘sell house' and the third-highest for the search term ‘houses for sale', contributing to Ohio's total search score of 509.
Kentucky ranks sixth for the term ‘houses for sale', contributing to its ninth position overall with a total search score of 505.
Indiana is the eighteenth of 50 states searching for a “Mortgage”. The Hoosier State has a total search score of 504.
Why Are People Relocating?
People relocate for different reasons. The most common ones are job opportunities, education, and family. Around 40% of the people are open to moving back home. While this heavily depends upon one's age, 28% of people did just that.
Moving in with a significant other combined with the cost of living are another two factors that play a crucial role in relocation decisions. Almost 60% of people find moving in easier than maintaining a long-distance relationship.
The Effect of the Pandemic
Another major force for relocation, however less frequent, is a global pandemic. Pew Research Center Survey shows that one in ten U.S. adults have permanently or temporarily moved out of residence due to the COVID-19 outbreak. A third of the U.S. adults who moved stated financial problems (due to job loss or other reasons) are their major factor for the relocation.
The Google Trends data research provides a fascinating insight into which states are the most eager to move this year. A spokesperson from TexasRealEstateSource.com commented on the findings: “This year we've seen fluctuations in house prices across America, which can easily lead to many thinking about relocating, downsizing or moving home.”
The volatile economy also contributed to people's migration decisions. Now it’ll be interesting to see if these searches translate into home sales.
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Ram is an Engineer by day and a personal finance blogger by night. He shares his tips and tricks on earning, saving, and growing money through his blog, Dollar for Cent. He uses his analytical and problem-solving skills to tackle money problems, find deals, and increase wealth. He loves his day job but believes our lives should not be location-bound and time-constrained. He documents his financial journey and hopes to reach financial freedom.