People vote with their feet which makes internal migration a great measure of the attractiveness of a place. 32 million, or about 10% of the American popultion moved last year according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Though the number of people moving has been declining every year since the late 80’s, 32 million still did so in 2018. Most – about 84% – moved within the same state, of whom 62% moved within the same county.
Net migration causes property prices to increase. The chart below shows the change in property value from 2014-18 vs the net percent of movers moving into a specific area. Mouse-over a dot to see what area it represents. Some areas in Detroit saw house prices double without an increase in population, while areas in Connecticut saw prices decline even as people moved in, but overall the net movement of people does have an effect on property prices as shown by the red line.
In the previous post we saw that 21-34 year-olds constitute the prime rental market. The table below shows the top 60 cities/towns that people of that age group are moving into, the net percent of movers moving in and the number of miles they moved to get there.
|index||Urban Area||%Movers||Avg Miles Moved (inbound)|
|1||Fort Collins, CO||0.46%||234|
|3||Little Rock, AR||0.36%||104|
|4||Norwich--New London, CT--RI||0.21%||123|
|6||Green Bay, WI||0.20%||79|
|7||New Haven, CT||0.17%||66|
|8||Baton Rouge, LA||0.17%||107|
|23||Des Moines, IA||0.10%||181|
|30||New Orleans, LA||0.09%||143|
|31||Eau Claire, WI||0.09%||215|
|32||Port Arthur, TX||0.09%||335|
|37||Sioux Falls, SD||0.08%||294|
|39||Virginia Beach, VA||0.08%||335|
|40||Battle Creek, MI||0.08%||201|
|46||Sioux City, IA--NE--SD||0.08%||191|
|48||New Bern, NC||0.07%||568|
Also discussed in the previous post was that older populations have a positive effect on house prices. The maps below show the individual areas that people are moving to at different stages of their lives. Notice the relative attraction of Florida, Arizona and Texas getting stronger as people age.