Adobe Stock/deberrar
Ryan DeBerardinis Adobe Stock/deberrar

Analyzing data on millions of searches, Apartment List’s Renter Migration Report reveals that many renters considered long-distance moves in 2022. Among users, 40% were searching for apartments in a new metro and 27% were searching for apartments in a new state. Movers looking to cross state lines typically have a larger budget than those living in the regions where they are moving.

For 2022, the average budget for cross-state movers was typically 11.5% higher than those living in the state where they’re relocating. The average budget among renters moving to a new metro was $1,699, which is 5.5% higher than renters searching within their current metro ($1,582). Logistically more difficult and expensive, long-distance moves are more common among high earners, Apartment List said.

Apartment List believes the migration patterns are putting upward pressure on rents. States near the Golden State are seeing an influx of new residents as Californians flock to more affordable states. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the state lost over 500,000 residents from 2020 to 2022.

“Despite its massive economy and high wages, it also suffers from some of the nation’s highest housing costs, driving a significant number of the state’s residents to seek more affordable options. Perhaps surprisingly, our search data implies that the Californians looking to leave the state are not, in fact, its highest earners,” Apartment List said.

California renters’ average budget for apartments in other states was $1,897 in 2022, which is 13% lower than the budget of those looking to remain in the state at $2,187. The state is one of just five where renters looking to move to a new state had lower budgets than those looking to remain in state.

However, the budgets of renters leaving California were still on average 24% higher than the budgets of existing residents in the states where they were moving. Top destinations for renters searching to leave California included Nevada, Arizona, Texas, Washington, and Florida.

High earners in New York also searched Florida as a top destination, with an average budget 27% higher than the state's existing renters. Renters in New York also searched California, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.

Like California, New York is one of the five states with lower out-of-state budgets than those looking in state, $1,905 versus $1,987. However, New Yorkers looking to move to California had an average budget of $2,862, 31% higher than Californians remaining in state.