Trying to understand moving trends can be a complicated undertaking, but can also provide you with some interesting observances. Every few months, employees of Trulia - a popular real estate website - look into the mountains of data the service collects to see if they can unearth some interesting trends.
A tale of two cities (and suburbs)
When they did so recently, they found a few notable patterns. In essence, they discovered that most short-distance searches (less than 100 miles) were towards the suburbs, while those considering moving out of state (or more than 500 miles away) explored more affordable markets with worse job markets, according to the company's chief economist, Jed Kolko, in an article for Forbes.
What does this tell us about larger relocation trends? In the case of the short-distance moves, most people were looking to move from a bigger metro area to a smaller one. For moves like these - which tend to be based more on family dynamics and quality of life than on new jobs - the move to a more suburban area is common, according to New Geography.
In this instance, where a household moving company has a relatively short ride, the moves are more about adapting to a current lifestyle - such as adding more "elbow room" for a growing family, Kolko told Forbes - than radically altering a life.
For that type of life change, you'll need to look to the longer moves.
Far, far away
The other trend unearthed by Kolko is a little more complicated. In general, he reports, these relocations are more about a new lifestyle. The people searching for these longer moves looked much more frequently, toward the south and west - 62 and 54 percent, respectively. The data released recently by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) on the number of new home starts bears this out. The two regions with the highest increases in April were the Midwest and South, which increased 6.7 and 11.6 percent, respectively. People looking into long distance moving are often doing so for warmer weather or a new life, not a new job, the data suggests.
When taken in aggregate, these trends hold some interesting information about the motivations of people seeking different types of moves.