Many individuals moved out of California and New York in 2020. That is the place they went

By Anna Bahney | CNN Business

When Mark Jenkins and Lori Crowell rang the doorbell in 2020, they had no idea that they would be moving to another state before the end of the year. But then the pandemic struck and so much changed.

“We’ve been thinking about leaving Seattle for the past few years, but we weren’t ready,” Jenkins said. But when the pandemic made remote working a reality for him and they realized they could live anywhere, they packed up and moved to Idaho. “The weather is a big improvement. The traffic is better. It’s very welcoming. The people are strangely friendly. “

Millions of Americans lived in a different address by 2020 than at the beginning of the year.

By October, 8.93 million people had moved since the pandemic started in March. This was the result of an analysis of address change requests from the National Association of Realtors of the United States Postal Service. That is an increase of almost 94,000 compared to the same period last year.

Where did all these people move – and from where?

Contracts from moving companies Atlas Van Lines and U-Haul show that people who chose to move to a new state have moved away from coastal population centers, with New York and California losing the most residents in 2020. And the report from NAR was newly found. Unbound remote workers left large cities for the suburbs.

“New York and California had much higher outbound activities,” said Barry Schellenberg, president of Atlas Van Lines. “It could be the cost of living, the tax rates or the political climate.”

This pattern is expected to continue through 2021, according to the NAR. If more people choose where to live based on their personal needs rather than commuting to work, it could mean long-term growth for suburbs and smaller cities.

“People want to migrate wherever they want, and many more companies are making it possible for employees to work remotely,” said Schellenberg. “Very large companies have sent to their employees: They no longer have to be near the office.”

A “land frenzy” in Idaho

Idaho topped Atlas’ list of states with the most inbound movements, meaning more moving trucks arrived in the state than left it. Also in the top 10 were North Carolina, Maine, Alabama and New Mexico.

“The Boise land frenzy, that’s what I call it,” said Jenkins, a consulting aerospace engineer who moved to Idaho in November. “I’ve never built so much before. Not just houses. Schools. Streets. Hospitals. Churches. It is exciting.”

The pandemic had accelerated Jenkins’ move to remote working and enabled a quality of life improvement that they had been thinking about. Protests in Seattle last summer against police brutality and systemic racism, which led to violent clashes with the police, drove them further.

“It was a turning point,” he said. You signed a contract for a new home in June and moved to a rental property in Idaho in November. They expect to move to their new home in April.

Barbara Dopp, an agent at Keller Williams Realty Boise, said her team 2020 had the best year ever, with half of their sales going to overseas buyers.

“I got calls from people, mostly from California and Washington, and they said,” I just have to get out, “said Dopp.” We’re a conservative state and people are drawn to it. “

She said buyers who came to Idaho wanted to stay away from changes in taxes, local ordinances, or the school curriculum – and they were looking for more security, she said.

“Her perception was that walking their streets wasn’t safe, that things had changed and they weren’t going back,” she said.

Rick Halstead, who also works in the Seattle aviation industry, and his wife Julie left Seattle because of the pandemic, protests, and what he described as a trip to Idaho that he described as a steadily deteriorating quality of life.

“The pendulum of the political environment has really swung for the past 10 years,” Halstead said. “There were more and more protests that would confuse traffic. Opioid problems. Homelessness. Crime. It intervened where we lived. “

Over a few weeks in June, a curfew was imposed on their neighborhood for security reasons, police helicopters circled overhead and then, Halstead said, there was a shooting.

“It didn’t feel like home anymore,” he said. “Arriving in Idaho felt like a 15 year trip. In our neighborhood you have the feeling that you are fine if you leave the doors unlocked. We met more neighbors in three months than in seven years in our old neighborhood. “

The couple now work remotely on a permanent basis, selling their 20-year-old home in Lynnwood, a suburb of Seattle, for $ 630,000. They bought a 600-square-foot new home in Meridian, Idaho for $ 429,000.

“It’s bigger, brand new, and the house payment is $ 1,000 less [a month]”Said Halstead.

Most surprisingly, he said, his health is improving.

“I just had a physical and my blood pressure was much lower,” he said. “All I did was move here and it was down 20 points. I am a lot less concerned. I felt like I was always looking over my shoulder. “

The southeast is another draw

Another top travel destination for people last year was Tennessee, according to a report by U-Haul that tracks the net profit of one-way U-Haul trucks entering a state versus one departure over the course of a year Wanted to move year. Texas and Florida, which have been banned in the first two places since 2015, finished second and third, respectively, last year.

“I see a lot of California people moving to Tennessee because they are drawn to our lifestyle,” said Jeff Porter, president of the U-Haul Company in Nashville. “Tennessee has no income tax and is very business friendly. There are a lot of jobs. People and companies take note of this. “

Edward Hill and his wife Margaret moved out of their one and a half bedroom apartment in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood and bought a house in Nashville in May. The couple were concerned about the impact of the pandemic on their health and urban mobility in early March. After both moving full-time to remote work, they left the company on March 11th, initially with his family outside of Charlottesville, Virginia.

They’d considered moving to Virginia or Tennessee to be close to the family. By May, they had decided to move to Nashville permanently to be closer to Margaret’s family and to support her work in the music industry.

“Ordinarily we wouldn’t have moved last year,” said Hill. “We would have extended our lease, but the pandemic only gave us the boost to get out of there.”

Because of the pandemic, they haven’t gone out much since buying their new home. But they have a lot more space to live, a yard for their dog, and good fishing – Hill’s passion – close by. Plus, it’s a lot cheaper than Brooklyn.

“The mortgage is half the rent in Brooklyn,” said Hill. “Definitely a lower cost of living here.”

Leaving big cities in the suburbs

While major cities lost the most people in the first seven months of the pandemic, many residents who left the country didn’t go far, according to NAR’s analysis.

Between March and October 2020, most Manhattan residents moved to Brooklyn (33%), the Hamptons (29%), and Jersey City (8%), according to the NAR. Similarly, most Franciscans moved to a county within 60 miles of their previous home.

Suburban counties topped the list of places where the most people were gained, while cities saw the greatest losses.

Williamson County, Texas, a suburb outside of Austin, saw the largest migratory gains in the country in the first seven months of the pandemic, according to NAR. Another county with a large influx was Suffolk County, New York, home of the Tony Hamptons.

In contrast, Travis, Harris, and Dallas (home of the cities of Austin, Houston, and Dallas) counties in New York County (Manhattan) and Texas have lost the most people.

Atlas Van Lines, a major company moving company, saw a dramatic decrease in employee relocations and an increase in the number of people doing it themselves over the past year.

According to Schellenberg, the increase in remote work caused by the pandemic is a main reason for moving away from large urban centers.

Despite the introduction of vaccines and optimism about getting back to work, Schellenberg expects this shift to continue as many companies adopt remote work on a permanent basis.

“The pattern [in 2021] will be similar to last year, ”said Schellenberg. “People will be moving away from coastal areas, where the cost of living is higher, to places like Idaho, Arizona, Texas, Tennessee.”

The CNN wire
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