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  • Writer's picturecdellarosa

South Carolina has the 3rd highest Inbound Migration.

No surprise here, but South Carolina proves to be one of the most popular states to relocate to in the US. According to data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of people who moved between states rose from approximately 7.9 million to approximately 8.2 million. Evidence on domestic moves (moves that occur within the United States and don't include moves from abroad) allows us to identify popular markets and why people choose to move there.

Key Findings

  • 32 out of the 50 states had inbound moving rates higher than 50%.

  • Affordability issues and the ability to work remotely drove Americans to move to neighboring or cheaper states. Florida and Texas were leading with the highest migration gains that year (not percentages).

  • Domestic net migrations were mainly affected by population size, affordability, and employment opportunities.

  • Most Americans chose to move to a state where they could afford to purchase a home, even if that meant fewer employment opportunities

Inbound and Outbound Rates

Thirty-two out of the 50 states had an inbound moving rate higher than 50%. Inbound moving rate is defined as the number of people moving into a state as a share of the state's total number of movers. Connecticut, Florida, and South Carolina saw the highest inbound migration rates in the country.

The states with the greatest outbound rates were New York (64.41%), California (63.22%), New Jersey (60.41%), and Illinois (60.11%), all of which had outbound rates higher than 60%.

Why Are People Moving to Specific States?

Key factors include affordability of housing, cost of living, tax implications, the ability to work remotely, and finally, warmer/more temperate climates.

Of all these factors, it appears that what matters most is housing affordability in the destination state. States with higher median property value had fewer people moving into them. In fact, states with the highest property values—Hawaii ($846,470), California ($740,140), and the District of Columbia ($722,318)—all experienced net migration losses, with California losing the most people. These are crucial results, as they indicate that people would be willing to compromise on employment opportunities to move to a place where they can afford to buy housing.

What does it mean for South Carolina buyers and property owners?

Simply put, the demand and desire to relocate to SC will continue to propel the South Carolina real estate market, driving values up and inventory down.

In short, if you already own a South Carolina property...well done. If you have been considering owning one... don't wait! The iron is hot as we are coming off a slow quarter with slightly higher inventory than we have seen over the past several years.

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