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LendingTree’s State Migration Study Finds Homebuyers Heading South

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A LendingTree study looked at where residents in each state are looking to move and discovered a southern tilt in preferences of out-of-state home buyers. LendingTree reviewed purchase mortgage loan requests for primary residents in all 50 states in the last year – from October 2016 to October 2017 – to find the percentage of all requests from residents looking to move outside of their current state. The results reveal the most popular new destination for each state along with the percentage of out-of-state requests for that location.

State Percentage Looking TO MOVE Out-of-State Top New State Destination Percentage Looking to Move to Top Destination
(of out-of-state movers)
VT 24.07% FL 14.01%
HI 23.10% CA 12.67%
AK 22.51% WA 11.24%
ND 21.50% MN 27.42%
WY 21.09% CO 15.87%
NY 20.80% FL 21.57%
RI 20.67% MA 31.00%
NH 19.17% MA 22.00%
CT 19.09% FL 22.50%
MD 18.94% FL 13.00%
DE 18.64% PA 22.03%
NJ 18.08% FL 21.09%
MA 17.86% NH 19.89%
SD 17.27% MN 11.80%
VA 17.05% NC 17.35%
KS 16.39% MO 29.67%
WV 16.04% OH 15.41%
NV 15.36% CA 17.73%
IL 14.66% FL 14.07%
CO 14.50% TX 10.87%
NM 14.44% TX 24.93%
CA 13.96% NV 10.64%
PA 13.47% FL 17.14%
MO 13.40% KS 12.95%
NE 13.04% IA 16.64%
ME 12.99% FL 22.11%
OR 12.95% WA 26.67%
WA 12.91% OR 11.08%
MT 12.30% AZ 10.50%
UT 12.29% CA 10.88%
ID 12.15% WA 18.88%
IA 11.89% FL 10.38%
AZ 11.79% CA 13.54%
MN 11.75% WI 17.27%
MS 11.45% AR 16.30%
WI 11.45% FL 14.10%
KY 11.11% FL 15.81%
TN 11.07% FL 16.19%
LA 10.98% TX 23.07%
NC 10.64% SC 26.91%
AL 10.30% FL 22.09%
SC 10.18% NC 29.97%
IN 10.13% FL 18.24%
AR 9.73% TX 17.17%
GA 9.68% FL 26.32%
OK 9.68% TX 23.64%
OH 9.66% FL 19.83%
FL 9.51% GA 12.04%
MI 9.18% FL 21.52%
TX 7.46% FL 10.49%


Key Findings:

Florida is the number one destination. Florida was the number one new destination for 18 of the 50 states. Of all purchase mortgage requests during the study’s time period, 9.14% were for consumers looking to move to Florida. The Sunshine State has a history of bringing in visitors and new residents, particularly retirees.

Texas residents love the Lone Star State. Texas had the highest percentage of residents looking to move within the state versus outside of the state. 92.54% of purchase mortgage requests from individuals in Texas were for properties within the state. The second location with the highest percentage of residents looking to move within the state was Michigan.

Vermont has the most residents looking to move away. In contrast to Texas, Vermont had the lowest percentage of residents looking to stay in state. 75.93% of requests in Vermont were for properties within the state.

If individuals are looking to move outside of state, most don’t want to go far. More than half of the most popular new destination states border the current state. Of the states that the residents’ most popular new location does not border their current state, 16 were Florida.

South Carolina leads out-of-state mover popularity. LendingTree created a Moving Popularity Score Index* to analyze destination states adjusted by population. South Carolina scored highest, as mortgage loan requests from out-of-state movers were 56% greater than suggested by its share of the national population. Other popular states are Florida, Delaware, North Carolina and Georgia, revealing a southern tilt in the preferences of out-of-state home buyers. At the other end of the spectrum, home buyers are least attracted to South Dakota, which received just 71% of the loan requests its population would suggest. California, Minnesota, North Dakota and Hawaii complete the bottom five.

*Moving Popularity Score Index Methodology
The popularity score for each state was created by dividing the percentage of all out-of-state purchase mortgage requests for the state by the percentage total population each state represents. A score of 100 means a state receives loan requests proportional to its population, above 100 means a state is more popular than its share of the national population and below 100 means a state is less popular than its share of the national population. For example, South Carolina represents 2.40% of all out-of-state mortgage requests, and its population is 1.54% of the nation. So, the South Carolina score is 2.40/1.54 x 100, or 156.

State Moving Popularity Score
SC 156
FL 143
DE 139
NC 135
GA 134
NV 125
NH 123
TN 119
WV 118
MS 112
AL 112
KY 112
MT 112
AR 110
IN 110
CO 109
AZ 109
OH 108
ME 107
TX 105
ID 104
VT 103
VA 102
OR 100
LA 100
MO 100
MD 98
OK 97
PA 96
WY 94
NM 92
NE 91
NJ 91
KS 91
DC 90
MI 89
CT 88
IA 88
WA 86
UT 86
RI 86
MA 83
AK 83
WI 82
IL 79
NY 79
HI 77
ND 77
MN 76
CA 72
SD 71

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