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Report: Renters’ Interstate Migration Patterns Settle Down

During the pandemic and its aftermath, America’s residential renters fled crowded cities to more affordable and less densely populated areas. But things are changing. According to the 2024 Apartment List Renter Migration Report, renters preferred to stay put, and fewer moved long distances.

Apartment List collected information from registered users between January 1 and December 31, 2023. The data revealed the following.

Cross-State and Cross-Metro Moves are Declining

In 2023, 38.5% of Apartment List users sought a new metro, a decline from the 40.7% reported in 2022. Furthermore, the share wanting to cross state borders declined to 25.6% from the previous year’s 27.7%. Apartment List analysts pointed out that a slowdown in cross-state migration was also apparent in data estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Estimates showed a slowdown in domestic migration from states that lost population. Meanwhile, states that had increased their population saw less of a gain in 2023.

Population is Moving to the Sunbelt and Mountain West

While the relocation numbers declined, the Census data did show that West Coast and Northeast states lost population from 2022 to 2023. The destination of this population was the Sunbelt and Mountain West.

Apartment List reported that California and New York ended up as the two states with the largest domestic outflow, both in absolute terms and as a percentage of their overall populations. Meanwhile, Florida and Texas gained the most population from these moves. South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida and Tennessee also ranked among the top 5 for percentage population growth due to domestic migration.

The Carolinas and Florida Attract Out-of-Towner Interest

Based on Census data, Apartment List said that Durham, NC, topped the list of inbound searches from renters living in different areas. Following are Charleston, SC, and Lakeland, FL. The report explained that Raleigh, Charlotte, NC and New York City were the top sources of out-of-towner interest.

Apartment List explained that another trend reported on the list highlights renters being priced out of more expensive markets and looking for more affordable markets, “for example, from San Francisco to Stockton, CA and from New York City to Bridgeport, CT.”

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