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More people are moving amid the pandemic

Posted at 7:11 AM, Sep 13, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-13 14:18:25-04

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — The pandemic has affected just about every facet of our lives, and according to officials, it may even be leading more people to move homes.

JK Moving Services, which is the country's largest independent mover, says when we really started to feel the brunt of the pandemic in March, people mostly stayed put. But once May came around, they started to see a large uptick in business that has continued ever since.

"This is the first time in my career that we are spending more time moving people out of the cities and into the rural and suburban settings, than moving them into the cities," said Chuck Kuhn, President, and CEO of the company.

Kuhn says in his 30-plus years in the business, he’s never seen moving trends quite like the ones the pandemic has caused. JK is seeing a 44% increase in business volume this year compared to last.

“It's causing people to say ‘why am I living in this densely populated area paying a high cost of living when I could move out to areas I prefer to live with outdoor living without the restrictions of the pandemic," Kuhn said.

He says, in general, his company is moving more people into California than out of it, but most people are choosing not to live in places like Los Angeles or San Francisco. In fact, he says Bakersfield is a popular spot for Californians to move to within the state. Outside the state, he says many people are choosing places like Texas and Colorado.

But there’s another big player out there too: Idaho.

“I don't think people move here because they can buy a cheap house here, they move here because they can have a quality life here," said Clark Krause, the Executive Director of the Boise Valley Economic Partnership.

Krause moved from Fresno to Boise 10 years ago, and he says the latest stats show 42% of people who migrate to the Boise metro area are from California. He agrees that one of the main reasons why people are moving away from California's metropolises to a place like Boise, is because it has great outdoor living, among other things.

“I would say we have a really good entrepreneurial base of people too, and healthy schools, that type of thing. So lots of reasons I think it appeals to people," Krause said.

Kuhn said another big reason people are moving is that many people are realizing they can work remotely permanently. So they no longer need to live near work.