More and more Americans are choosing to move to Oregon and the Pacific Northwest. That’s according to the latest United National Movers Study released by United Van Lines earlier this year. The national moving company tracked 123,000 state-to-state moves in 2015 to understand national migration trends and the reasons behind relocations.
For the third straight year, Oregon ranks as the top state in the country for net inbound moves. Nearly 70% of all moves to and from Oregon last year were people moving into the state, as opposed to moving out, and the number of people moving to Oregon annually has increased by 10% in the past six years. Washington State cracked the top 10 most inbound moves in the United States, as well, with 56% percent of moves across Washington being inbound.
American Van Lines considers states with at least 55% net inbound moves as “high inbound” states, a figure that Oregon shatters.
The most popular specific reasons for inbound moves to Oregon were job related (53%) and a desire to be near family (20%). More generally, a combination of factors and trends appear to be drawing people to the Pacific Northwest. A boom in the region’s tech industry, a dynamic and creative marketing sector, cheaper overall housing—particularly compared to California—and a growing desire for outdoor activities and “green” space all contribute to the region’s attractiveness.
Like the Pacific Northwest, Southern states also fared well in 2015, with a 53% inbound move rate as a region. By contrast, East Coast states, specifically Northeast states, continue to see a decline of inbound moves. New Jersey (1), New York (2), Connecticut (4) and Massachusetts (7) rank in the top 10 of “moving out” states.
One expert at the University of California at Los Angeles also notes that the data reflects a longer-term trend of relocation to Western and Southern states—warmer, more mild climates and less crowded than states in the Northeast.
Though Oregon as a whole remains very affordable, a CNNMoney article on the United Van Lines study reports that Portland’s housing prices are beginning to significantly increase as the tech boom takes hold and growth continues. Last year, Portland home prices topped double digit increases and are expected to increase at a similar rate in 2016. The average median home price surpassed the $400,000 mark as of June 2016.
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