News Release

United Van Lines Post Peak Season Moving Trends Summary

America’s #1 Mover® Sees Spike in Summer Moving Season

Sep 4, 2013 - ST. LOUIS - On the heels of the busiest residential moving season since the recession, United Van Lines today announced the findings of its 2013 Post-Peak Season Moving Trends Summary indicating the Pacific Northwest and Northern California are the fastest-growing and most popular moving destinations. San Jose, Portland, San Francisco and Seattle are among the top-six cities with the largest influx of movers into the metropolitan region compared to the number of people departing.

Michael A. Stoll, economist, professor and chair of the Department of Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles, provided some context for the moves, “The continued growth in the tech sector is drawing people to Northern California, but the high cost of living in Silicon Valley is causing tech companies and workers to migrate north to Seattle. Portland is also experiencing unprecedented growth attracting a range of millennials and retirees relocating for amenities such as public transit, green space, local arts and a vibrant urban culture.”

United, the largest mover in the country, reports residential moves for summer 2013 are up 8.5 percent year-over-year during the industry’s busiest months, May through August. In line with this growth, the National Association of Realtors reports that U.S. home sales hit 5.39 million in July — the highest since 2009 — which signifies that housing remains a driving force for the economy even as mortgage rates have risen from record lows. Over the past 12 months, sales have surged 17.2 percent.

Based on United’s summer moving data, the most popular cities for U.S. families to move to this season were:

1. Washington, D.C. 6. Dallas, Texas 11. San Jose, Calif.
2. Atlanta, Ga. 7. Portland, Ore. 12. Charlotte, N.C.
3. Houston, Texas 8. Phoenix, Ariz. 13. Minneapolis, Minn.
4. Chicago, Ill. 9. Denver, Colo. 14. Boston, Mass.
5. Seattle, Wash. 10. Los Angeles, Calif. 15. San Diego, Calif.

The data also revealed the top cities families were moving from this peak moving season:

1. Washington, D.C. 6. New York, N.Y. 11. Denver, Colo.
2. Chicago, Ill. 7. Los Angeles, Calif. 12. Seattle, Wash.
3. Boston, Mass. 8. Dallas, Texas 13. Houston, Texas
4. Atlanta, Ga. 9. San Diego, Calif. 14. Philadelphia, Pa.
5. Phoenix, Ariz. 10. Minneapolis, Minn. 15. Norfolk, Va.

Although Washington, D.C. tops the list for highest inbound moves, it is also at the top of the outbound list. Overall, the cities that are in fact experiencing growth — more people moving into the metropolitan region than out — were not only in the Pacific Northwest, but the southeast region as well including Charlotte, Tampa, Raleigh and Atlanta. The cities experiencing the biggest moving deficit (more people moving out than in) were Chicago, New York and St. Louis.

To capture the city-to-city migration patterns in the U.S., United analyzed domestic moves during the peak moving season — between May 1 and August 31 — when approximately 35 percent of all domestic household goods moves take place. This included nearly 45,000 interstate household moves managed by United.

As the nation’s largest household goods mover, United collects and maintains data regarding its moves. For the last 36 years, United has released an annual domestic migration study in January, and this latest peak moving season migration study offers unique insight into the current city-to-city moving patterns. The findings for the full year 2013 will be released in January 2014.

About United Van Lines
United Van Lines is America’s #1 Mover®. In cooperation with its sister company, United Containers, United Van Lines is able to offer a full range of moving solutions from do-it-yourself to full-service. With headquarters in suburban St. Louis, United Van Lines maintains a network of 400 affiliated agencies. For more information about United Van Lines, visit

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