Where Are Americans Looking to Settle?

New research from Storage.com has revealed which states people are most likely to lose out on their dream home to others getting there first, with Colorado being named the top state for those hoping to move.

Storage.com’s research analyzed nationwide and regional Google searches for keywords related to real-estate sites such as Zillow and Trulia to identify which states’ properties and rentals are most in demand. The searches were then compared against local populations to determine where reported the highest desire.

“Finding the right place to live can seem like the biggest challenge of the process at the time, however it’s only the first hurdle. While it’s near impossible to remove all stress from a move, beginning packing as soon as things are in motion can seriously ease the headache,” said Chuck Gordon, CEO of Storable, the parent company of Storage.com. “You’ll be surprised how quickly time can creep on you, and suddenly you have most of your house to pack still. However, it can take weeks upon weeks before you receive a moving date–sometimes even months–and living amongst boxes can add to the sense of chaos. If you can, use a storage unit to hold non-essential items.”

The added financial pressure caused by the current economic situation might put some off moving, but for others, it appears to be motivating them to take the plunge. In fact, a huge 476,050,700 Google searches were made in the U.S. for real-estate listings during 2023.

What is driving interest?

While the driving factor for this interest is unclear, it could reflect tenants’ desire for cheaper rent as landlords hike up fees, or the urge to get onto the property ladder.

Whatever the reason, those in Colorado hope to move home more than anywhere else. The state averaged 14,414 searches per 100,000 residents, which is 21% higher than the national average of 11,869 searches per 100,000 residents.

Florida is the second state where potential movers are up against the most competition, with 13,985 searches per 100,000 people – 18% higher than the national average. In third is Arizona, which is still 16% higher at 13,782 searches per 100,000 people.

The 10 states where movers have the most competition include:

States people are looking to avoid

Meanwhile, Alaska residents are the least likely to have to rush into a deal to avoid losing it to other interested renters or buyers, with only 6,025 searches per 100,000 people, which is 49% lower than the national average.

Behind Alaska as the next state where people are least looking to move is Hawaii, as people search for real-estate websites 46% less than the average person, with 6,438 searches per 100,000 people.

Closely following in third is Mississippi with 6,671 monthly searches – which is 44% below the national average.

The 10 states where movers have the least competition include:

When did the rush begin?

Interestingly, U.S. searches for housing sites peaked in March last year at 44,698,660, which is 13% higher than the monthly average of 39,670,892 searches. This indicates this is the best time for sellers to list their property, as demand for new homes could rise again this year.

In 2023, Americans showing the least interest in moving throughout December, with searches dropping 20% below the average to 31,662,739 monthly searches.

“Now that we are a couple of months into the New Year, it’s likely those that were home hunting beforehand will return to it–and many others may start looking too if they set moving as a goal for 2024,” said Gordon. “If the trend spotted last year repeats itself, people are going to increase their research for their next potential home again next month. As interest surges, so will competition, so prospective renters and buyers may have to act fast if they want to secure a property.”

Data for this study was gathered via Google Keyword Planner, which provides nationwide and state-specific search volume behind moving-related terms, keywords, and sites. All findings were scaled against local populations to get a ‘per 100,000 residents’ search rate. The study analyzed searches specifically for real estate sites, such as Trulia and Zillow, as well as general searches, for terms such as “Rooms for Rent” and “Houses for Sale Near Me.”

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Eric C. Peck

Eric C. Peck has 25-plus years’ experience covering the mortgage industry, most recently serving as Editor-in-Chief for National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He graduated from the New York Institute of Technology, where he received his B.A. in Communication Arts/Media. After graduating, he began his professional career with Videography Magazine before landing in the mortgage space. Peck has edited three published books, and has served as Copy Editor for Entrepreneur.com.
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