"Houston made the biggest jump on a list of the top U.S. destinations where people are relocating as southern states grapple with a larger influx of residents compared to any other region.
Houston jumped seven spots to rank No. 5 this year on PODS Enterprises' 2023 U.S. annual moving trends report, ranking higher than any other Texas city. PODS, which provides mobile storage and moving containers to residential and business customers, said economics were the top factor behind people's decisions to move.
More than 80% of the top 20 destinations on this year's list are in the South as people flock to states with low tax rates, warmer weather and more affordable housing prices, Clearwater, Florida-based PODS said in a statement. That's a change from last year's report where people were mostly influenced by the opportunity to work remotely and be closer to loved ones, PODS said.
Rising housing prices and costs of living played a big factor in some notable absences on this year's list as well as some markets' lower rankings. In fact, the Myrtle Beach, South Carolina-Wilmington, North Carolina, market leapfrogged to the No. 1 spot on this year's list from No. 6 last year, displacing Sarasota, Florida, for the top spot.
The cost of living in Myrtle Beach-Wilmington is lower than that of Florida while still offering a similar quality of life on the coast, PODS said. But Florida is still the top state for relocations and had six metropolitan areas rank in the top 20 on PODS' report this year, with Sarasota, Orlando and Ocala ranking in the top five.
Meanwhile, Austin, Texas, was notably absent on this year's list after ranking No. 16 last year.
"The absence of Austin on this year’s list comes as a fairly big surprise and may be an early signal that the booming growth we’ve previously seen in Austin is starting to slow," PODS said in its report.
PODS, formerly known as Portable on Demand Storage, was founded in 1998 when it started offering portable storage containers that allow customers to store and access their belongings in their driveway or elsewhere."