By Erica Plemmons
Florida Realtors economist: For do-it-yourself moves, Fla. ranks second in the number of new entrants. Do-it-all movers rank Fla. as one of only four “inbound states.”
ORLANDO, Fla – You can feel it on the roads – more people are moving to Florida. You’ve likely seen the trailers and moving trucks filled with their belongings too. The phenomenon is nothing new, and the latest data from van lines confirmed the trend continued in 2022.
U-Haul tracks over 2 million one-way transactions across the U.S. and Canada, and Florida falls behind only Texas in its annual Growth Index. The Sunshine State held the second spot for five of the past seven years, only deviating in 2019 (when it jumped to first) and in 2020 (when it fell to third).
Florida’s name appears beyond the state rankings, as U-Haul also analyzed their top growth cities. It’s the third year a Florida city stole the spotlight. Ocala had the highest net gain of one-way trucks during the last year. Joining Ocala on the 2022 list were three other Florida markets, Palm Bay-Melbourne (4), North Port (6), and Lakeland (21).
In 2020, North Port was the place to go, and in 2021, Kissimmee-St. Cloud took the crown.
Although the volume of trucks U-Haul reports speaks for itself, not all individuals/families prefer a do-it-yourself approach.
Four van line companies that specialize in full-service moves report their migration patterns in annual reports. Each company shares details on interstate moves with its own perspective on how a state fared in the most recent year.
The general agreement is that movement greater than 55% in either direction determines if a state is an inbound or outbound state; otherwise, it’s assumed that the number of people who enter and exit is relatively balanced.
With that in mind, a consensus opinion from four movers instills more confidence since an individual company may not have the whole story, and they agree about Florida – it’s one of only four states that all van lines classify as inbound, along with Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina.
Specifically, Allied Van Lines found nearly 56% of Florida’s shipments were inbound. Similarly, North American Van Lines had 55%, and United Van Lines tracked over 57% of shipments headed into Florida compared to leaving the state. Atlas Van Lines reported the highest inbound rate at 59%.
Florida ranked as the fourth and fifth top inbound state for Atlas Van Lines and North American Van Lines, respectively.
Where in Florida, you ask? Sarasota is a hot spot according to Allied Van Lines. It also earned a place on United Van Line’s top inbound Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) list. At number seven, it was the second-highest Florida MSA behind Punta Gorda (5). Additionally, Fort Myers-Cape Coral (10), Fort Pierce-St. Lucie (12), Daytona Beach (13), and West Palm Beach-Boca Raton (19) made the top 25 cutoff.
Though there were fewer moves in 2022 than in 2021, Florida continued to check positive boxes for individuals and families relocating.
The flow of movers in and out of the Sunshine State is ripe with opportunities for Realtors. The van lines also share top outbound states, MSAs, and cities.
Erica Plemmons is an economist and Florida Realtors Director of Housing Statistics
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