These States Were the Top Growth Markets for U-Haul Moves in 2022

Texas was one of the few states to increase its number of U-Haul truck arrivals in 2022 from the record-breaking pace set in 2021, overcoming an overall slowing in migration to the Sun Belt.

The state ranked first in the country for a second straight year on U-Haul’s annual growth index tracking the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks that arrived in an area compared to how many departed in an indication of relocations. Florida ranked No. 2, followed by South Carolina, North Carolina and Virginia.

U-Haul’s growth index shows which states and cities are attracting and maintaining residents and can be a barometer for multifamily developers and investors.

Sun Belt states dominated migration patterns that were accelerated during the pandemic, according to U-Haul, which has a network of more than 23,000 locations.

“We still have areas with strong demand for one-way rentals. While overall migration in 2021 was record-breaking, we continue to experience significant customer demand to move out of some geographic areas to destinations at the top of our growth list,” John Taylor, U-Haul International’s president, said in a statement.

People arriving in Texas in one-way U-Haul trucks increased more than 1% from 2021. South Carolina was the only other state in the top 10 to have an increase in arrivals in 2022 from 2021.

California was at the bottom of the growth index for the third consecutive year, marking one of the greatest net losses of one-way U-Haul trucks. The states rounding out the index’s bottom five included Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts and New York.

Most states that moved up in the rankings did so because of more people not moving. Georgia, for example, rose to No. 8 from No. 23 solely because of a bigger gap between declining arrivals and declining departures.

Virginia and Alabama were the biggest risers on the index from the prior year. Virginia vaulted from No. 31 in 2021 to No. 5, also because departures dropped at a faster pace than new arrivals. North Carolina moved up to No. 4 from No. 19 for the same reason.

South Carolina supplanted Tennessee at No. 3. The Volunteer State dropped to No. 6 because arrivals decreased.

Meanwhile, Ohio moved to the No. 9 spots from No. 24.

“A lot of people originally from Ohio are returning home,” said Alissa Nider, U-Haul Co. of Akron’s president, in a statement. “People grew up here, went away for school and got jobs in other places. But many are coming back.”

Ohio also is poised for major job growth once Intel opens chipmaking plants outside Columbus that promises to employ at least 3,000 people. Suppliers may follow. Other major economic development wins last year for the Buckeye State include Honda Motor Co. announcing it will build an electric vehicle battery plant near Columbus.

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