States Losing and Gaining the Most Homebuyers

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Americans, who for a long time moved readily from one state to another, have become less mobile. Over the past 30 years, the median length of time between a recorded purchase and later sale of a home has stretched from 4.4 years in 1985 to 6.6 years in 2015.

According to researchers at CoreLogic, the driving forces for moving are economic opportunities, affordability and weather. A buyer’s preference is also a function of age. While boomers are seeking affordable housing and good weather, millennials are seeking job opportunities, affordability and a lower cost of living.

Based on a ratio of residents moving out to new residents moving in, the five states losing the most residents are New York (3.9), California (3.4), Illinois (2.3), Virginia (1.3) and Pennsylvania (1.2).

Based on a ratio of new residents moving in to current residents moving out, the five states gaining the most residents are Florida (2.9), South Carolina (2.6), Arizona (2.3), North Carolina (1.7) and Georgia (1.4).

According to CoreLogic, “[t]he trend shows overall homebuyers are moving to more affordable and warmer states.”

As we’ve noted, priorities and preferences change with age. Here’s CoreLogic’s summary:

In 2016, Texas had the largest number of millennial in-migrants, whereas Florida had the largest number of baby boomer in-migrants. Job opportunities, cheaper homes, no income tax and lower cost of living could be the main triggering factors for the millennials’ move to Texas. Better natural amenities (warm weather, proximity to beach, sunny days), lower taxes (no state income tax, no inheritance tax or estate tax), lower cost of living and affordable housing could be the main factors causing baby boomers to move to Florida.

Baby boomers are leaving cold weather and high-cost states like New York, Illinois, California, Maryland and Ohio and moving to Florida, South Carolina, Arizona, North Carolina and Georgia.

Millennials are leaving New York, California, Illinois and Virginia in favor of South Carolina, Florida, New Jersey and Georgia. CoreLogic noted:

Data indicates that millennials were applying for mortgages in bordering states with lower home prices. For instance, millennial applicants from New York applied for home-purchase mortgages mostly in New Jersey and Pennsylvania; from California, they applied for mortgages in Nevada, and from Illinois they applied for mortgages in Indiana and Wisconsin. Millennials seemed to be moving for affordable homes, employment opportunities, lower taxes and open spaces.

In contrast to millennials, data show that baby boomers preferred warmer states, along with affordability. Baby boomers from New York, Illinois, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Maryland applied for home-purchase mortgages in Florida the most. Baby boomers seemed to be moving for warmer weather, lower taxes and affordable homes.