If you didn’t move last year, you’re in the minority. here’s why

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Have you recently found yourself thinking about moving, heading to parts unknown? If so, you are not alone. According to a study by the North American Moving Company, Americans are fleeing the expensive coastal (and Midwestern) cities that once attracted them and heading to cheaper parts of the country.

Why the change?

Before the pandemic, it was virtually unthinkable that millions of Americans would find themselves working from home. Of course, we learned that life goes on and businesses continue to thrive, even though the “break room” is just down the hall in our own kitchens. Due to remote work opportunities, around 14 to 23 million people were able to move in 2021.

And then there are those who have undergone a digestive test during the global pandemic, unsure if they want to stay on the same path they had taken. Among the issues that changed their lives, many had to deal with where they saw themselves living.

It is perhaps unsurprising that the changes introduced by COVID-19 have resulted in a 20% year-over-year increase in the number of Americans emigrating to states with lower cost of living. raised.

Where do they come from?

Americans seem to be leaving five of the most populous and expensive states in the country: California, Illinois, Michigan, New Jersey and New York. While there’s a lot to love about each of these states, there’s no denying that other areas have a lower cost of living.

Where are they going?

According to the study, Americans are heading in droves to North and South Carolina, Tennessee, Florida, Arizona and Texas.

Why they say they’re leaving

In a survey, people gave many reasons for looking for a new home. The three main reasons given are:

  • Cost of life: You can live in a really cool city but never enjoy it because everything is just too expensive.
  • Closeness to family: If nothing else, COVID-19 has taught us that nothing is more important than the people we love. And being isolated for months without being able to see these people was enough to make us rethink our geographical choices.
  • Work flexibility: As mentioned, millions of people could relocate as they can work just about anywhere. For those with transferable skills, 2021 was a good time to find a new job in a new city.

But there were also other reasons, including:

  • Looking for new job opportunities.
  • Hoping to find better schools for their children.
  • Wanting to live in an area with better security in the face of the pandemic.

Some places are harder than others

The cost of living in states like Michigan and parts of Illinois is certainly cheaper than in coastal cities. Yet people living in these states see opportunities in states where the cost of living is even cheaper.

States like Tennessee, Arizona, and North and South Carolina have seen the greatest influx of new residents. Not only are they geographically beautiful, but it is still possible to earn a dollar in each of these states.

Given that Los Angeles, California is the least affordable city for first-time home buyers, it’s easy to see why anyone would want to be somewhere they can afford to settle down and live. to buy a house.

The potential outcome

It is possible that people who moved early in the migration end up with more money in the bank. What will be interesting to observe is the impact of this new influx of people on the regions in which they settle.

For example, between 2010 and 2019, before the pandemic, Austin, Texas became a hot place to live, continuously ranking at the top of “Best of US” lists. Over those nine years, more people flocked to the city, and the median price of a home rose from $193,520 to $318,000 in 2019. Naturally, home prices rose even more in 2020 and 2021. .

What happens to a hidden gem in a city when everyone finds out about it? Are the prices getting out of reach for those hoping to build a better life there? There’s no way to know for sure, but it’s certainly worth watching.

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