The pandemic has accelerated migration out of large cities, and it seems like most of the movement is—at least for now—permanent. A report from My Move found that nearly 16 million people fled large cities during the pandemic with 14.2 million people filing a permanent change of address form. This is a 1.2% increase from 2019 in permanent change of address submissions.

Temporary change of address submissions also increased. 1.6 million people filed a temporary change of address form with the US Postal Service this year, up 27% from 2019. Temporary filers fill out a change of address form to have their mail forwarded to a new location, but plan to move back to their original home within six months.

Change of address requests peaked from February to July with spikes during the months of March and April. According to My Move, this indicates that most people made the decision to relocate early in the pandemic to quarantine in a less dense market or to be with friends or family. For permanent moves, July was also active, but this likely coincides with peak moving season, which is typically during the summer months.

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Kelsi Maree Borland

Kelsi Maree Borland is a freelance journalist and magazine writer based in Los Angeles, California. For more than 5 years, she has extensively reported on the commercial real estate industry, covering major deals across all commercial asset classes, investment strategy and capital markets trends, market commentary, economic trends and new technologies disrupting and revolutionizing the industry. Her work appears daily on and regularly in Real Estate Forum Magazine. As a magazine writer, she covers lifestyle and travel trends. Her work has appeared in Angeleno, Los Angeles Magazine, Travel and Leisure and more.