Impact of COVID-19 on Moving

As COVID-19 continues to inflict the United States, we are gaining a better understanding of the disease’s effect on people’s behavior and mindset.One interesting way the coronavirus is affecting people is its impact on their decision to move. Not only does the disease contribute to people’s desire to move, but many households have expedited the moving process because of it. 

Below, we’ll take a look at how exactly COVID-19 has impacted movers’ mindsets and behavior.

COVID and the Decision to Move

Although the first COVID cases in the U.S. appeared in January 2020, the virus’s widespread impact wasn’t felt until March when lockdowns were first initiated. By mid-summer, nearly 15% of people moving cited COVID as a contributing factor in their decision to move. The four most common reasons that 15% of movers cited were:

  1. Personal health and well being (60%)
  2. Desire to be closer to family (59%)
  3. Change in employment status (57%)
  4. Family health and well being (53%)
  5. Live in an expanded living space (45%)

Roughly two-thirds of the movers above reported that their moving process was expedited because of the virus.

Overall, however, the U.S. experienced a shift in peak moving season. While typically, most moves occur in May through late August (between Memorial Day and Labor Day), that timeframe was pushed back by a month or two. Interstate move requests jumped by 27% and 32% in August and September, respectively.

Where Are They Going?

As expected, the top outbound states for which COVID was a factor include the states hit hardest by the virus or most impacted by lockdowns, including Washington, D.C., New York, Massachusetts, Florida, and California. 

Also, unsurprisingly, the top inbound states for which COVID was a factor in the decision to move include states with lower population densities such as Vermont, North Dakota, Montana, Oregon, Ohio, and Utah.

The data from New York show a pretty dramatic shift in moving trends over previous years. In May and August, moving requests increased by more than 50% over 2019.

But that pales in comparison to a city like San Francisco, whose requests skyrocketed 59% for August year over year and 129% in September!

COVID-19 is changing our behavior in many ways. While some are content to simply adhere to recommended precautions like mask-wearing and hand washing, others either feel the need to take more drastic steps to protect their family or escape the partial lockdowns and mandated safety measures. 

For the time being, the virus isn’t going anywhere. However, you can feel safe when conducting a move with a reputable moving company that follows the recommended guidelines and safety precautions like Schroeder Moving Systems.