For the sixth consecutive year, New Jersey had the most residents leave than any other state in the US, according to fresh data by an interstate moving company.
St. Louis, Mo.-based United Van Lines published its 47th annual National Movers Study earlier this month, and found that a staggering 65% of its moves involving New Jersey were to leave the Garden State.
New Jersey’s outbound rate was roughly four percentage points higher than the No. 2 most moved-out of state last year, Illinois.
New York suffered the fourth highest exodus rate, roughly 60%, according to United Van Lines, which comes following a year of hefty losses on Wall Street, where dozens of firms have moved their headquarters in an effort to dodge rampant crime, stiff taxes and an increasingly exorbitant cost of living.
United Van Lines said that among the top metropolitan areas in the country that it executed the most outbound moves were also in New Jersey: the Bergen-Passaic region — the most populated in the state — followed by Monmouth and Ocean counties, in the heart of the Jersey Shore.
The outbound rate in these regions were 77% and 71% in 2023, respectively, according to United Van Lines’ study.
In New Jersey, however, most residents who moved out of the state were of retirement age — at least 62, the moving company found.
United Van Lines spokesperson Eily Cummings told The Post that 32% of the company’s New Jersey outbound moves “are to Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina.”
“It’s hard to say for certain what’s driving retirement migration, but where they’re moving to, you can draw a correlation to property taxes and warmer weather,” Cummings told The Post.
New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the US, where the average effective property tax rate is 2.49%, according to mortgages firm Rocket Mortgage.
For reference, the national average is just 0.99%, and in New York, it’s 1.72%.
Meanwhile, the cost of living in New York is a whopping 30% higher than the national average, per apartment listing service RentCafe, versus in New Jersey, where everyday expenses are 13% above the national average.
Cummings also pointed to the fact that 21.4% of New Jersey residents chose to leave the state to be closer to family — an impressive stat that’s changed drastically since the onset of COVID-19.
“There are more nuanced reasons for moving now than there ever have been before,” Cummings told The Post.
She continued: “The No.1 reason for moving always, traditionally, has been that someone received new job or was transferred by their company. Now, because of remote work, people are moving for a variety of different reasons. You’re seeing movement to be closer to family or for lifestyle reasons at a much higher percentage.”
Roughly 14% of the people who moved out of the Garden State in 2023 sought a better lifestyle, according to United Van Lines, while 16.4% moved because of their job.
The number of residents who moved out of New Jersey last year wasn’t immediately clear.
Cummings said United Van Lines “only tracks migration patterns from state to state by looking at data based on percentages, otherwise large states are always going to have larger traffic.”
As far as the state that saw the highest influx of inbound residents: Vermont; Washington, DC; and South Carolina topped the list with inbound rates of 65.5%, 63.3% and 63.2%, respectively.
Yet across the entire housing sector, Americans have been squeezed by sky-high interest rates over the past year — so much so that in New York, an impressive 68% of high-earning homebuyers dished out cash for a home in the state the fourth quarter of 2023.
The figure, which usually hovers around 50%, “exceeds two-thirds of all sales to reach a record-high market share,” according to the latest quarterly survey of Manhattan sales from appraisers Miller Samuel and brokerage giant Douglas Elliman.
By paying cash, deep-pocketed homebuyers with ample liquid assets are skirting interest rates altogether.
As of last week, the average 30-year fixed home loan is 6.62%, according to mortgage buyer Freddie Mac — double what it was in January 2022, when rates started surging as the Federal Reserve began its aggressive tightening regime, which has lifted the benchmark federal funds rate to a 22-year high.