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LendingTree Study Reveals the Top States Where Residents are Staying Put, Moving From and Moving To

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A recent LendingTree survey found that about half of Americans were considering a move sometime in the next year. While it’s uncertain those relocation plans will come to fruition in 2021, it’s clear that many people are thinking about it.

Where exactly are movers likely to go? Will they stay in their current state, or venture somewhere new? To answer this question, LendingTree looked at data from Jan. 1, 2020  through Dec. 15, 2020 to analyze the moving patterns of American homebuyers in each of the nation’s 50 states.

While a majority of movers buy a new home in their current state, LendingTree found that homeowners in some places are much more likely to migrate out-of-state than others.

Key findings

On average, 85.65% of movers stay in the state that they’re currently living in. This isn’t all that surprising, given that an out-of-state move can add up costs quickly.

Texas residents love the Lone Star State. Texas has the highest percentage of movers looking to move within state lines at 93.57%. Not only is Texas popular among its own residents, but its relatively low home prices and lack of a state income tax also make it a popular destination for out-of-state movers from states like California and Colorado. For example, 14.04% of homebuyers who move out of California and 11.91% of homebuyers who leave Colorado move to Texas.

New York has the most residents looking to leave. Just 75.28% of New York state movers stay in the Empire State. Of those that leave, nearly 25% choose New Jersey as their new home state.

Most out-of-state movers don’t go far. Thirty-three of the most popular destination states border the current state where a mortgage shopper resides.

For out-of-state movers, Florida is the No. 1 destination. Florida is the favorite out-of-state destination for mortgage shoppers in 14 of the 50 states. What’s more: Of those 14 states, 12 do not border Florida. The Sunshine State has a long history of bringing in visitors and new residents, particularly retirees, thanks to a mix of affordable housing, no state income tax and, of course, its sunny weather. Florida also retains current residents with the fifth-highest share of movers who look to stay in-state.

States with the most movers who are moving in-state

No. 1 Texas

  • % of movers staying in-state: 93.57%
  • % of movers relocating out-of-state: 6.43%
  • Most popular destination state: Florida 
  • % of out-of-state movers looking to move to the most popular destination state: 10.20%

No. 2 Michigan

  • % of movers staying in-state: 91.27%
  • % of movers relocating out-of-state: 8.73%
  • Most popular destination state: Florida 
  • % of out-of-state movers looking to move to the most popular destination state: 23.16%

No. 3 Oklahoma

  • % of movers staying in-state: 91.13%
  • % of movers relocating move out-of-state: 8.87%
  • Most popular new destination state: Texas
  • % of out-of-state movers looking to move to the most popular destination state: 26.91%

States with the most residents looking to move out-of-state

No. 1 New York

  • % of movers staying in-state: 75.28%
  • % of movers relocating out-of-state: 24.72%
  • Most popular destination state: New Jersey 
  • % of out-of-state movers relocating to the most popular destination state: 22.78%

No. 2 North Dakota

  • % of movers staying in-state: 76.12% 
  • % of movers relocating out-of-state: 23.88%
  • Most popular destination state: Minnesota 
  • % of out-of-state relocating to the most popular destination state: 30.32%

No. 3 Hawaii

  • % of movers staying in-state: 76.56%
  • % of movers relocating out-of-state: 23.44%
  • Most popular destination state: California 
  • % of out-of-state movers relocating to the most popular destination state: 11.37%

Tips for homebuyers who are considering a move

Whether you’re thinking about relocating to a new state or staying put, moving can be a challenge, especially when you try selling your old home and buying a new one at the same time. To help ease the transition,  consider a variety of factors before you jump into the process.

Here are some tips for homebuyers considering a move:

Know the market you’re moving to. Different housing markets have different quirks, so make sure that you get acquainted with the area where you’re buying so there are no surprises. For example, compare home prices in similar neighborhoods to be sure that you’re not overpaying for your house. All real estate markets are local, so what you might pay for a home in your current town might be more (or less) expensive in the next state over. Hiring an experienced real estate agent will help you better understand local market conditions and find your next home. Don’t forget to consider property taxes and utility bills into your house-hunting budget.

Keep an eye on your savings. When you combine moving expenses and the cost of selling your old house and buying a new one, your savings can disappear quickly. Work on saving up as much money as possible before you move.

Consider all your options first before moving. If you don’t want to deal with the expense and hassle of moving but still want to save money, refinancing may help you achieve your goal. With interest rates near record lows, many homeowners  may be able to lower their monthly payments and save tens of thousands of dollars in interest payments over the life of their loans by refinancing.


Data for this study is derived from users on the LendingTree platform who made a mortgage purchase request from Jan. 1, 2020 to Dec. 15, 2020. By comparing the location of a buyer’s current residence to the location of the residence they’re looking to purchase, LendingTree was able to determine which state a homebuyer was looking to move to, and whether or not they were moving to a new state or staying in the one they currently live in.

LendingTree research analyst Jacob Channel contributed to this study.


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