If you were considering a move and could take your pick of any state in the U.S. to move to, you’d probably choose Florida. If not there, you’d likely pick some other state in the Southeast, according to a new study by LendingTree, the parent company of MagnifyMoney.
The financial services company, which allows homebuyers to compare mortgage offers online, analyzed all new mortgage loan requests from people looking to purchase a home outside their state of residence from October 2016 to October of this year.
To rank the most- and least-popular moving destinations, the researchers gave each state a “moving popularity score” adjusted by population.
The more popular the state was among mortgage applicants, the higher the score. The less popular, the lower the score. A score above 100 means the state received more out-of-state mortgage requests than its current share of the national population, while a score below 100 means the state received fewer out-of-state mortgage requests than its share of the national population.
- South Carolina; Moving Popularity Score: 156
- Florida; Moving Popularity Score: 143
- Delaware; Moving Popularity Score: 139
- North Carolina; Moving Popularity Score: 135
- Georgia; Moving Popularity Score: 134
- Nevada; Moving Popularity Score: 125
- New Hampshire; Moving Popularity Score: 123
- Tennessee; Moving Popularity Score: 119
- West Virginia; Moving Popularity Score: 118
- Mississippi; Moving Popularity Score: 112
South Carolina tops the list with a score of 156 on the Moving Popularity Index. Based on its out-of-state mortgage requests and proportion of the U.S. population, South Carolina wins out. Mortgage loan requests from those moving out of state to South Carolina were 56 percent greater than suggested by its share of the national population.
By another metric, however, Florida, with its 143 score, still comes to the fore as the top moving destination. That is, of all mortgage requests surveyed, nearly one in 10 were made by consumers looking to move to Florida. At the same time, the Sunshine State was the top new destination for home seekers in 18 of 50 states.
As LendingTree points out, Florida has had a long history of bringing in visitors and new residents, particularly retirees.
South Dakota is the least-popular moving destination for out-of-state homebuyers, according to the survey. The Mount Rushmore State scored a 71 on the Moving Popularity Index. Others on the least-popular-destination list included California, Minnesota, North Dakota and Hawaii.
Out-of-state movers seemed to favor Southern destinations most. Four of the top five most popular destinations adjusted by population — South Carolina, Florida, North Carolina, and Georgia — are in the southeastern United States. At No. 3, only Delaware bucks that trend.
Overall, most people didn’t want to move too far if they did want to move out of state. LendingTree found more than half of the most popular new destination states bordered the applicant’s current state of residence.
Texans don’t want to leave Texas. According to LendingTree’s survey, Texas residents were the most likely to request an in-state moving destination. Texas had the highest percentage of in-state mortgage requests at 92.54%. At the other end of the spectrum, Vermont had the most residents looking to move out of state — 75.93% of requests in Vermont were for properties within the state.
See the full breakdown of residents looking to move outside their current state and the top new destination state for residents in each state here, in the full release.
MagnifyMoney is a price comparison and financial education website, founded by former bankers who use their knowledge of how the system works to help you save money.