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Over the past 3 months the patterns in people moving has been nothing short of extraordinary. In the middle of March, when the US began its lockdown of business and travel due to COVID-19, moving home was virtually non-existent. Things stayed this way until early May, then people decided that holding off from moving was no longer logical or even feasible.

Acceleration in May

Moving requests slowly trickled forward for the remainder of May, then the need to move came from everywhere. Requests for moves picked up all over the US, however, the types of requests were different than ever before. Instead of moving from one part of their city to another, or even from one part of their existing state to another; people moved completely out of the state they were living in.

For places like New York City, a location with one of the highest numbers of COVID-19 cases, moves out of the state came at volumes never before seen. In many cases people moved out of their apartment and left all of their personal belongings behind, later calling on the moving company to quote on moving their goods without having seen or even been permitted to enter the building.

The census bureau listed 76,000 residents left NYC in 2019. This year in March alone the post office has had 56,000 change of address requests and increasing. April is up 81,000 ( 2X the previous year) . These moves are either from wealthy neighborhoods in the city to the high end coastal communities near by or out of state. As a result of the pandemic numbers are increasing daily.  As some of New York’s wealthiest neighborhoods emptied out, mail-forwarding requests show us where they went.

New York City was not the only location people moved out from, virtually every city in the country witnessed a substantial amount of people moving on out. Where did everyone go? The answer is everywhere. Moves from New York to Los Angeles were followed by moves from Los Angeles to New York City. Moves came from Washington State to Pennsylvania, Alabama to Arizona, Florida to New York, California to Nevada and on it went from almost every city in every state in the country.

Why Out of State Moves?

There are a number of different possible reasons for all there out of state moves, however, not possible to point to just one specific reason. Much could be a direct result of so many people now working from home and businesses telling staff to not return to their offices. Well established tech companies such as Apple, Google and Facebook have all told staff not to return to their offices until 2021 and some others, such as Twitter, have told staff they should consider working remotely permanently.

People are not just moving from high cost cities such as New York and San Francisco, which brings forward other possibilities. For many that have been working for a long time and built up some savings, earlier than planned retirement seems like a sensible option. The career they’ve had for so many years may be not logically operational or financially viable (such as retailers, restaurant owners, sports coaches, school teachers, travel agents, residential and commercial real estate agents, etc. etc) and as such retirement is the smart choice. Another reason could simply be looking to move to locations that are both more cost efficient and/or provide thrill-seekers the availability of amenities like a haircut and an open bar.

Quality Remains Essential

Sourcing quality moving companies for these moves is now more difficult than ever before, especially as the movers need to see what is being moved in order to give an accurate quote and at present very few good quality movers have either the time or desire to visit peoples homes to view the items they need moved.


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