Massachusetts Out-Migration: What It Means for 2024 Housing

According to the 2023 National Movers Study by United Van Lines, Massachusetts ranked seventh on the list of the “Most Moved-From States” last year. This is called “out-migration,” when a significant number of people leave a geographic area within a country. The reverse is “in-migration” (not “immigration,” which refers to moving to a new country.)

The Exodus Isn’t New

The study found that 7% of customer moves in Massachusetts were outbound. This figure is consistent with the previous year’s data, indicating a continuing trend.

Why Are They Leaving?

The reasons for departing Massachusetts are varied. According to the survey:

  • 28% moved out because they found new jobs in other states.
  • Just over 19% left for family reasons.
  • 18% said they were retiring elsewhere.
  • 16% departed due to “lifestyle changes.”

Here’s a surprise: Massachusetts, and especially the Boston area, are known for a high cost of living. Yet only 2% of those surveyed said they were moving due to rising costs.

Where Are They Going?

While Massachusetts saw a high percentage of outbound moves, other New England states are attracting new residents. Vermont was the top “inbound” state for the third-straight year, with over 65% of all moves being inbound. Those headed to Vermont cited family, lifestyle, and job reasons for their move.

Rhode Island was fifth on the inbound state list, with 45% surveyed saying a new job attracted them to the state. The other states seeing the most inbound moves for 2023 were Arkansas (4th), South Carolina (3rd), and Washington, D.C. (2nd).

How Are Home Sales Affected?

It would appear that with more people leaving the state than entering it, there would be more available inventory in 2024. This is not necessarily the case when you consider that many of those heading to new states are renters. In addition, homeowners are hesitant to sell now after having bought or refinanced at historic lows during the pandemic years.

No one knows how the market will play out in the coming months, but last Friday, Massachusetts lawmakers committed to working on solutions to this growing concern.

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Groundhog Day

On Friday, will the groundhog see his shadow? I hope not! It would be nice to have an early spring for a change!

But wait. How accurately has Punxsutawney Phil, the most famous groundhog, fared in his predictions?

Records dating back to the 1880s show that Phil and his predecessors aren’t the most reliable. In fact, all the groundhogs who have played Phil over the years have combined for a 39% accuracy rate.

So have fun with the tradition, but know that the groundhog has a worse chance of being correct than having you flip a coin. He is very cute, though.

Home Improver: Regulating Humidity Levels in Winter

Ah, the dreaded dead of winter. It’s freezing outside, you threw your back out shoveling heavy snow, and your skin is so dry it’s cracking. We can’t do much about the first two winter-related issues, but let’s talk about that dry skin. You house may be too dry and needs to be humidified to add moisture to the air. Investing in a humidifier may be your best bet, but here are some DIY alternatives.

  1. Ventilation: Proper ventilation is crucial, especially in areas like the kitchen and bathroom where moisture levels can rise quickly. Use exhaust fans to help remove excess humidity.
  2. Air Leaks: Seal air leaks around doors, windows, and other openings to prevent cold, dry air from entering and warm, moist air from escaping.
  3. Indoor Plants: Some indoor plants can naturally increase humidity levels through a process known as transpiration.
  4. Use of Water Basins: Placing water basins near heating sources can help evaporate water into the air, slightly increasing humidity levels.
  5. Monitor Humidity Levels: Use a hygrometer to keep track of your home’s humidity levels. This will help you adjust your methods as needed to maintain the ideal range of 40%-60%. In this range, you’re safe from dry skin but also safe from mold and bacteria, which form when a house is too humid.
  6. Air Drying Laundry: Hanging laundry to dry indoors can increase humidity levels. This is a natural and energy-efficient method, though it should be used sparingly in smaller spaces to avoid excessive moisture.

Good luck, stay warm, and grab some hand lotion and lip balm at your local drug store!