Remote Workers Choose New Homes for Many Reasons

Article by Globe

While some workers are moving to less-expensive locales amid the work-from-home environment, others are moving for jobs.

The pandemic has resulted in a lot of firsts but one of the larger trends is that job location no longer dictates where employees live. While some workers are moving to less-expensive locales amid the work-from-home environment eschewing pricier urban home bases, others moved for work.

Within this larger mosaic of where and why relocations are occurring, Allied Van Lines issued its annual Magnet States Report, highlighting consumer and corporate moves in 2020 in this emerging migration puzzle.

The top five destination states for consumer moves was led by Florida followed by Texas, California, Arizona and North Carolina. These five continue to be the highest volume destination states in line with trends from 2019.

It’s no surprise that business-friendly Texas continues to rank as the top move destination for Allied Corporate Relocation Services customers, and two cities are top choices for relocations. The top corporate move destination city is Houston for two years in a row. Austin, TX, remains the top destination city for consumers, also for two years in a row. This year, Austin was named America’s Best Job Market by The Wall Street Journal, the Best State Capital to Live in by WalletHub and the Best US City to be Quarantined in by DeliveryRank.

Denver moved up from its number three spot in 2019 to the number two spot in 2020, relegating Chicago to the number three position.

Allied Van Lines’ Magnet States Report data aligns with Census Bureau estimates reported in April 2020 that counties in the South and West lead the country in population growth.

Interestingly enough, in the year before COVID-19 swept the country, a smaller share of Americans changed residence than in any year since 1947, when the Census Bureau first started collecting annual migration statistics. This migration decline occurred during an upswing in the economy, when young adult Millennials were beginning to get back on their feet after the Great Recession of 2007 to 2009.

However, there now appears to be a new mix of migration patterns across different parts of the country, as evidenced by real estate, moving and survey data, suggesting selective migration upticks and downticks due to both safety and economic concerns, according to a Brookings study late last year.

For instance, a report from My Move found that nearly 16 million people fled large cities during the pandemic with 14.2 million people filing permanent change of address forms. Temporary changes of addresses also increased, with 1.6 million people filing temporary change of address forms with the US Postal Service last year, up 27% from 2019.

These new location preferences will likely be the norm well after shelter orders are lifted. In fact, UCLA Ziman Center for Real Estate’s 2020 Economic Outlook forecasted that work-from-home trends resulting from COVID-19 will reshape the US housing market well into the future.