LendingTree’s State Migration Study Finds Americans Are Moving South

CHARLOTTE, N.C., November 5, 2018 – LendingTree®, the nation’s leading online loan marketplace, today released its State Migration Study on where Americans are moving. The study looked at where people moving out of state are going and discovered that of the 12.1 percent of homebuyers across the country who change states, most plan to head south.

LendingTree reviewed more than 2 million new purchase mortgage loan requests for primary residences in all 50 states in 2018 (through mid-November) to find what percentage of all requests were from residents looking to move outside of their current state and where their destination would be. The results reveal the most popular new locations for homeowners in each state, along with the states with the highest percentage of requests to move to other parts of the country.
Key findings
Florida is the No. 1 destination. Florida was the top new destination for 15 of the 50 states. Of all purchase mortgage requests during the study’s period, 9.1 percent were for Florida. For out-of-state movers, 12.4 percent of requests were for Florida. The Sunshine State has a long 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 state lines — 93.4 percent of purchase mortgage requests from individuals in Texas were for properties in the same state. Texas is also a top destination for people moving from out of state, claiming the top spot from six states. Michigan was the state with the second highest percentage of residents looking to move within its borders, at 91.3 percent.

Alaska has the most residents looking to move away. By contrast, Alaska had the lowest percentage of residents looking to stay in state at 75.2 percent. The top destination out of Alaska was Washington state.

Most people looking to move out of state don’t want to go far. More than half of the most popular new destination states border the current state. But if they are looking to move cross-country, chances are it’s to Florida. Of the 20 states where the residents’ most popular new location does not border their current state, 13 were Florida.

South Carolina is the top destination when adjusted for population size. 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 52 percent greater than suggested by its share of the national population. Other popular states by this metric are Florida, Delaware, Georgia and North Carolina, revealing a Southern tilt in the preferences of out-of-state homebuyers. At the other end of the spectrum, homebuyers are least attracted to South Dakota, which received just 64 percent of the loan requests its population would suggest. Hawaii, Minnesota, California and New York complete the bottom five.

To view the full report, visit https://www.lendingtree.com/home/mortgage/study-finds-americans-moving-south/.

State Percentage looking to move out-of-state Top new destination state Percentage looking to move to top destination (of out-of-state movers)
AK 24.80% WA 10.80%
AL 9.30% FL 22.40%
AR 9.30% TX 17.10%
AZ 11.20% CA 11.30%
CA 14.10% TX 11.20%
CO 15.00% TX 11.60%
CT 17.30% FL 23.90%
DE 17.90% PA 23.60%
FL 8.90% GA 13.80%
GA 9.20% FL 26.50%
HI 22.40% CA 12.80%
IA 12.20% IL 10.10%
ID 12.30% WA 20.70%
IL 14.20% FL 14.20%
IN 10.00% FL 18.80%
KS 15.50% MO 31.20%
KY 10.50% FL 15.40%
LA 9.90% TX 25.60%
MA 17.90% NH 21.50%
MD 17.20% VA 13.50%
ME 11.30% FL 21.00%
MI 8.60% FL 22.00%
MN 12.00% WI 15.40%
MO 10.80% KS 14.40%
MS 10.40% TN 16.70%
MT 13.80% AZ 11.10%
NC 9.80% SC 28.10%
ND 21.60% MN 29.90%
NE 12.30% IA 15.10%
NH 17.80% MA 18.60%
NJ 17.50% FL 21.80%
NM 14.40% TX 25.00%
NV 15.50% CA 18.50%
NY 21.30% FL 21.50%
OH 9.10% FL 20.70%
OK 9.20% TX 24.80%
OR 13.40% WA 25.90%
PA 13.20% NJ 16.60%
RI 20.40% MA 29.10%
SC 9.20% NC 31.30%
SD 17.30% AZ 11.90%
TN 10.50% FL 15.80%
TX 6.60% FL 10.10%
UT 11.80% ID 9.40%
VA 15.70% NC 17.70%
VT 17.20% FL 19.60%
WA 13.20% OR 11.40%
WI 10.60% FL 15.60%
WV 14.80% OH 17.20%
WY 19.60% CO 15.80%


States Ranked by Moving Popularity Score
  State Moving popularity score
1 SC 152
2 FL 144
3 DE 138
4 GA 138
5 NC 137
6 TN 126
7 NH 125
8 NV 121
9 WV 121
10 AL 114
11 KY 111
12 OH 110
13 TX 110
14 AZ 109
15 AR 109
16 MS 108
17 IN 108
18 ME 104
19 VA 104
20 MT 104
21 OR 103
22 ID 103
23 CO 103
24 VT 100
25 WY 100
26 LA 99
27 PA 99
28 MO 98
29 OK 97
30 NJ 93
31 NM 93
32 MD 93
33 CT 89
34 KS 89
35 MI 88
36 UT 87
37 NE 86
38 WA 86
39 RI 82
40 IA 81
41 IL 79
42 MA 78
43 WI 78
44 AK 76
45 ND 75
46 NY 74
47 CA 72
48 MN 71
49 HI 67
50 SD 64

*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 of the 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.

About LendingTree
LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE) is the nation's leading online marketplace that connects consumers with the choices they need to be confident in their financial decisions. LendingTree empowers consumers to shop for financial services the same way they would shop for airline tickets or hotel stays, comparing multiple offers from a nationwide network of over 500 partners in one simple search, and can choose the option that best fits their financial needs. Services include mortgage loans, mortgage refinances, auto loans, personal loans, business loans, student refinances, credit cards and more. Through the My LendingTree platform, consumers receive free credit scores, credit monitoring and recommendations to improve credit health. My LendingTree proactively compares consumers' credit accounts against offers on our network, and notifies consumers when there is an opportunity to save money. In short, LendingTree's purpose is to help simplify financial decisions for life's meaningful moments through choice, education and support. LendingTree, LLC is a subsidiary of LendingTree, Inc. For more information, go to www.lendingtree.com, dial 800-555-TREE, like our Facebook page and/or follow us on Twitter @LendingTree.