With a slumping yet still competitive housing market, persistent inflation, and the maze of logistical hurdles involved in relocating, moving is a challenging balancing act of competing priorities. What does it all mean for Americans looking to move today? How are they handling the difficult process, and where is it taking them?

Single-Family homes are preferred among movers.

The latest CivicScience polling data shows that 15% of U.S. adults plan to move in the next 12 months.  Among them, those seeking single-family homes comprise more than half at 52%, despite continually rising mortgage rates. Interest in Townhomes is up to 9% compared to those who moved last year (7%). Interestingly, the percentage of people looking to move into apartments is down three percentage points to 25% from last year’s movers.

Unbox a few other notable CivicScience insights for those planning a move in the next 12 months:

1. Income level strongly influences the preference for single-family homes, with 66% of those earning $100K-$150K and 74% of those earning $150K+ planning to move into such homes in the coming year.

2. More than half (53%) intend to stay within their current state, while 47% will move out of state.

3. Although many prospective movers look to stay in-state, they are more likely to opt for suburban (38%) or rural (38%) areas instead of cities (24%). 

Cost of living is a key factor in moving plans.

Ongoing inflation is affecting various aspects of the cost of living, and despite some positive signs, it continues to burden those who are planning to move within the next year. Among them, one-third (33%) consider the cost of living as their primary motivation for moving. Meanwhile, one-quarter (23%) prioritize the importance of family. A change in scenery (17%) is slightly more influential than job-related reasons (15%), with the need for a different climate (12%) the least important factor for movers.

Cost of living holds the lead among all age groups except for Gen Z adults aged 18-24, who prioritize family and jobs instead. Prospective movers to the city also think of family as their primary reason to move, while those planning a relocation to the suburbs or rural areas circle back to the cost of living. 

Moving is a process; how has the approach to that process changed?

CivicScience surveyed Americans to gauge any changes in how they handle moving today. The latest data indicates a four percentage point drop in the number of people hiring professional movers, now at 38% (down from 42% in 2021). Meanwhile, 37% of U.S. adults plan to rent a truck for their next move, up slightly from 35% in 2021, while 25% plan to use their own vehicle.

U-Haul is the favorite among rental moving services. PODS has potential.

As rental trucks become increasingly popular for moves, U-Haul stands out as the top choice among both those who intend to move in the coming year and those who do not. Among those who plan to move in the next 12 months, 55% have used U-Haul and were satisfied with their experience. Budget and Ryder follow behind U-Haul, with positive experiences reported by 29% and 27% of planned movers, respectively. 

While the percentage of positive experiences for PODS (Portable On Demand Storage) among those who are familiar with the company is lower than that of other moving rental services, the overall data suggests an opportunity for growth and improvement. This is highlighted by the fact that one-third (33%) of all respondents report they’re not aware of PODS, indicating that there is potential for PODS to increase its brand recognition and reputation.

Moving is a complex process that requires much consideration – costs, location, and how to get your stuff to the new place. Some shifts and trends will continue to emerge as the economy ebbs and flows amid inflation. CivicScience will continue to monitor moving insights in the months ahead. 

Don’t want to be left behind as these moves occur? CivicScience can help. Let’s chat.