vincentanzalone/Getty ImagesJust because a state is deemed red-hot doesn't mean folks are lining up to move there. (Ahem, New York and California.)
No, the state attracting new residents at the fastest rate isn't best known for movie stars, tech titans, or media barons-in fact, it's probably best known for its delicious potatoes. Idaho saw the largest percentage of inbound moves in 2017, according to a recent Atlas Van Lines report. About 65.1% of moves were those relocating to the state instead of leaving it.
The Evansville, IN–based moving company, which performs only out-of-state relocations, looked at the percentage of moves in and out of each state to come up with its rankings. This is quite a bit different from looking at the states with the highest and lowest number of moves. Atlas Van Lines performed nearly 7,300 relocations in 2017.
“Historically, [moves] are job-related,” says Jeff Schimmel, vice president of transportation services at Atlas Van Lines. And “this past year, people moving wanted to go to the Northwest.”
That makes Idaho a smart pick. Unemployment in the state was just 2.9% in November-much lower than the 4.1% national average, according to the most recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data. It boasts a lower cost of living and more affordable homes than its neighbors on the West Coast.
The median home price in Idaho is $185,000, according to realtor.com® data. That's substantially less than in bordering Oregon, where it's $290,000.
About 61% of the folks looking at homes for sale and rent in Idaho on realtor.com were from out of state, according to the company's data.
“People are really attracted by the job opportunities,” says Frank Nothaft, chief economist of real estate data company CoreLogic. “It's a more affordable alternative to Seattle or Washington state.”
But prices have also been soaring in Idaho as of late. In November, they were up 10.4% year over year in the state, according to the most recent CoreLogic Home Price Index report. This was the fourth-highest increase in the nation.
Washington state, which was the second hottest spot for movers, saw the largest annual price gains-at 12.2%, according to the CoreLogic report. The state had the highest overall number of new residents moving in, according to Atlas Van Lines.
Prices in Nevada, which came in third for where folks were moving, rose at the second-highest rate, at 10.8%. Coming in third for price growth was Utah, where the cost to buy a home shot up 10.5%, according to CoreLogic.
“It comes down to economy and jobs” in these hot destinations, says Schimmel. “As the economy gets better, companies relocate more employees and they hire more.”
2017 migration patterns. Click for high-res version.Atlast Van Lines
States folks are moving to:
Not all states are seeing an influx of new residents. Illinois saw the largest percentage of folks escaping its borders, at 62.4%. That's not altogether surprising with a 4.9% unemployment rate and a higher cost of living than surrounding states.
The median home price in the state is $180,000 compared with $110,000 in Wisconsin, $128,000 in Indiana, and $135,000 in Missouri.
Illinois has seen more moves out of state than in state since the mid-1990s, according to Atlas Van Lines. Only 37% of folks looking for homes in Illinois on realtor.com were from the state.
“If jobs are moving other places, people are going to move to other places,”says Schimmel.
States folks are moving from:
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