According to an analysis of data by Rent., during Q4 of 2022, the Northeast showed positive migration for the first time in 2022.
Rent. combines fourth quarter numbers into a single measure called the “Lead Delta," which measures the difference between the number of inbound and outbound leads as a proportion of all leads within a particular geographic area. Geographies with more inbound than outbound leads have a positive Lead Delta. A large Lead Delta means high migration interest, while a negative Lead Delta indicates that a state or metro saw more outbound searches than inbound searches, and is decreasing in popularity.
For Q4 of 2022, the Northeast Region's Lead Delta stood at 3.36%, followed by the Midwest at 1.73%, the South at -1.77%, and the West at -1.31%.
Breaking the data down by state, Rent. reports that North Dakota scored the highest proportion of migration leads in the country in Q4, with a 36.98% Lead Delta, down slightly from its 38.70% Q3 total. North Dakota inbound migration consistently came from within the state and neighboring Minnesota, as well as outliers including Illinois, Texas, New York, and California.
Coming in second place for Q4, was The Garden State of New Jersey with a Lead Delta of 36.33%, nearly identical to its Q3 reported total of 36.35%. More than half of New Jersey’s leads came from in-state and neighboring New York, but renters in Pennsylvania, Florida, Virginia, and Georgia also showed great interest in moving to The Garden State.
Despite the fact that the South was the least popular region for migration leads in Q2, three Southern states showed strong migration growth, with Delaware logging a 32.16% Lead Delta to finish in third place. That total was up from its 30.38% showing in Q2 (when it logged the top spot), and down from Q1's 22.41%. Most of Delaware’s leads (28.64%) came from Pennsylvania, not Delaware, the Delaware Valley metro spans the two states' borders.
Rent. found that Louisiana came in fourth place with a Lead Delta of 24.80%, down from its third-place finish of 35.71% in the previous quarter.
In terms of states that renters fled in Q4, Illinois made the list of the top states for outbound migration every quarter in 2022, with a reported Lead Delta of -34.84% which meant that more renters were interested in exiting Illinois in Q4 than anywhere else in the country. That reading was down from its first-place finish of -46.41% in Q3, but up from -31.69% in Q2 and -15.74% in Q1. Illinois renters were most interested in moving to Midwestern states, but also showed interest in areas of Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
Rent. found that the pandemic continues to shape U.S. renters' migration habits, as lockdowns and the ability to work from home sparked a desire for extra space and amenities. Inflation, a high cost of living in many cities and rents that have risen 20% over the last two years have pushed many residents to look for more affordable living options.
Rent. researchers mine the site's user data to gauge interest in the site's listings by geographic location and aggregate the numbers to learn where renters were interested in moving to and the places they wanted to leave behind.
Click here for a detailed analysis of rental trends in Q4 from Rent.