No exodus of California renters starting in 2022

Survey Says looks at various rankings and scorecards for judging geographic locations, while noting that these ratings are best viewed as a combination of clever interpretations and data.

buzzing: In terms of their online search habits, there is no exodus of California renters starting in 2022.

source: My trusty spreadsheet looked at migration statistics for the first quarter from site analyzed 1.7 million online apartment searches by state, including the percentage of users who wish to opt out and local search volume from elsewhere in the U.S.


Like I’ve said many times before – very few people leave California, and even fewer move here.

Beginning in 2022, 15.9% of Californians will choose out-of-state when looking for a new rental location. This is the second-lowest share among states. Arizona is a favorite place for Golden State people to find apartments.

16.2% of California rental searches are from out of state. Again, this is the second-lowest share in the country. Those following the feud between California and Texas will giggle, with Lone Star state residents searching for California rentals the most outside of California.


So, the top spot for “outbound” relocations — where are those potential out-of-state exits?

71% of apartment seekers in the District of Columbia are looking outside the area. It was followed by Vermont (55%), Wyoming (52%), New Hampshire (50%) and West Virginia (49%).

Conversely, only 15.7% of Florida has a smaller out-of-state appearance than California. Then came Texas (17%), Arizona (19%) and Utah (21%).

Seven states made California the No. 1 target for their residents searching for out-of-state apartments — Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Washington.

Next, consider those “inbound” moves — the places with the most condo searches that may bring in more new neighbors.

The largest share of inbound searches is also DC, with 65% of searches coming from outside the region. Next are Alaska and Montana (53%), Wyoming (52%) and South Carolina (51%).

The only state with fewer inbound searches than California was Michigan at 14%, then Texas and Ohio at 18%, and Illinois at 19%. By the way, Florida came in at number 10 with 25%.

Six states — Arizona, Hawaii, Nevada, Texas, Utah and Washington — see more Californians viewing homes than residents of any other state.

bottom line

Search is by no means guaranteed relocation.

Keep in mind that about two-thirds of online apartment searches are looking for an in-state move closer to home.

Also, some online looks are aspirational – people are just dreaming of new digs.

So you can think of this visual metric as a measure of popularity. Consider the ratio of my spreadsheet’s inbound searches (considering potential arrivals) to its outbound online research (considering possible departures).

This statistic shows that South Carolina is the top choice for renters.It leads the nation with 196% of out-of-state residents looking to move to Palmetto compared to those looking elsewhere in the U.S.

The next pop, through this math? Alaska was 190 percent, Arizona was 173 percent, Florida was 162 percent, and Kentucky was 138 percent.

Least popular? Michigan. Renters considering moving into the Wolverine State are only 52 percent of those who want to leave. Then came Illinois (58%), New York (61%), Georgia (71%) and Ohio (72%).

California came in at 32nd with a slightly below-average 98% — not far from Texas, at 25th with 103%.


People are talking about rental affordability these days, but surprisingly, people seem to be looking for something stronger in the pricier market, according to U.S. Census Bureau cost data.

My spreadsheet broke down the states by popularity and found that the 17 most popular states had a median monthly rent of $1,097, while the 17 less popular states had a median monthly rent of $999.

Jonathan Lansner is a business columnist for the Southern California News Corporation.he can [email protected]

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