It’s looking like a lot of American homeowners flew south for the global pandemic.
That’s illustrated in a new report from loan marketplace LendingTree, which tracked users opening mortgages between March 1, 2020, and September 21, 2021. The company’s data allowed it to visualize the moving patterns of homebuyers during the pandemic’s housing boom—and according to its intel, Florida was the top destination for those who migrated out of state.
Mortgage shoppers in 18 of the 50 states favored the Sunshine State. New southerners flocked there from as far as South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Maine, but it also drew in relative locals from Georgia, Tennessee, and Kentucky. It’s not hard to guess why: With its sandy beaches, warm waters, affordable housing, and zero state income tax, Florida has long been a beeline spot for retirees. But now, with many earlier-career workers unshackled from office campuses by the pandemic’s forced digital revolution, those masses are free to move wherever they want—whenever they want.
In the last year and a half, Florida welcomed new residents including 3.6% of all mortgage shoppers in Vermont and 2.6% of those in Maryland, LendingTree’s data suggests.
But for most, the moves were smaller scale. The vast majority of home borrowers—roughly 85%—stayed within the same state where they were currently living. That held especially true in Texas, where 93% of residents looking to move kept it local. What can we say? The Lone Star State has pride—and, also a zero income tax policy. It was the No. 2 top destination for emigrants, favored by nine states including Louisiana, California, and Alaska.
Meanwhile, the state with the highest percentage of defectors was New York, with 27% of mortgage shoppers seeking to leave the state—chiefly, for the greener pastures of New Jersey, it seems.
Check out the full report here.