Leaving DC? Here are some of the most popular long-distance moves

The D.C. metro area has always been considered a somewhat transient city, and that was the case in 2022, ranking fourth in the nation for house hunters looking out of town.

Redfin reports 18% of searches for homes for sale by D.C.-area residents were out of town, behind only San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.

For D.C. residents moving away, the Northeast and Florida have always been near the top, but Sterling, Virginia-based JK Moving Services, the largest independently owned moving and storage company in the nation, says the top destinations have changed a bit.

For D.C. residents moving away, the Northeast and Florida have always been near the top, but Sterling, Virginia-based JK Moving Services, says the top destinations changed a bit. (Courtesy JK Moving)

There has been a shift in those moves going more frequently to the South and to the West, based on thousands of out-of-town moves in 2022, the company said.

Florida, which was always a popular destination, has become even more popular, said David Cox, JK Moving president. North Carolina and Texas have also become more popular moving destinations, he said.

“It is due to people seeking lower-cost housing markets,” Cox said. “Also, the remote worker thing. People making the decision, if they are able to work remote, to live in a place that’s warmer and lower cost.”

Florida and North Carolina were the most mentioned for out-of-state moves by Marylanders and Virginians.

JK Moving said inquiries about moving services remained strong in 2022, despite the drop in home sales.

Nationwide, California residents topped the list of people inquiring about moving into the D.C. region last year, though most Californians relocating were headed to Texas. The D.C. area was also a top destination for Floridians.

The majority of residential moves are local, or not far. But demand for long-distance moves continues to constrain moving company availability. JK Moving advises any family planning a long-distance move to plan it far ahead, and learn the jargon.

Like “delivery spread.” While the moving company you choose will almost certainly show up on time on the day of the move, customers shouldn’t expect a hard commitment to an exact date and time for delivery on the other end.

“A delivery spread allows the moving company to effectively manage the multiple shipments on a truck. So we advise our customers to be prepared to be flexible in the delivery date, and to be available for every date within that spread,” Cox said.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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