8.9M Americans Have Moved Since the Pandemic Began | Paper Source Online

Originally published by REALTOR Magazine | December 7, 2020

One in three American adults has transitioned to partial or full remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic, freeing them up to move further distances.

NAR tracked change-of-address data from the U.S. Postal Service from March to October to determine mobility changes since the pandemic began. A total of 8.93 million people have relocated since the start of the pandemic, the data shows. Most people moved at the beginning of the pandemic and during the summer months.

“Some of them seek out bigger houses with bigger yards for their kids to play in and office space for them to work,” Nadia Evangelou, a research economist for the National Association of REALTORS®, writes in a recent post at the association’s Economists’ Outlook blog. “Others seek more affordable homes in less dense places away from large city centers since they can telework.”

Thirty-four states saw net migration gains nationwide, which means they had more people moving into the state compared to those moving out. New Jersey, South Carolina, and Maryland had the highest migration gains across the country. On the other hand, New York, Texas, and the District of Columbia have lost the most people since the beginning of the pandemic, the data shows. More than 50% of those who left New York moved to New Jersey or Connecticut. Also, most relocating Texans moved to Arkansas, Florida, or New Mexico.

NAR cautions that the data is not a full-year comparison and may not yet fully represent true migratory trends.