U-Haul prices jump amid high-tax city, state exodus

Company says price differential tends to indicate higher demand for moves in one direction

U-Haul prices are starting to reflect growing demand among residents to leave high-tax cities and states during the coronavirus pandemic, costing individuals more to flee these populated areas than to move there.

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The trend was first pointed out on Twitter by Brian Wesbury, who is the chief economist of First Trust Portfolios LP.

Wesbury was citing data for a move from a two-bedroom home to three-bedroom apartment.

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Here’s a look at the rates for Sept. 15, for a move from a studio to a one-bedroom apartment:

Sacramento to Phoenix: $809

Phoenix to Sacramento: $199

Manhattan to Virginia Beach: $722

Virginia Beach to Manhattan: $275

Miami to Raleigh: $1,195

Raleigh to Miami: $699

Los Angeles to Phoenix: $939

Phoenix to Los Angeles: $142

A spokesperson from U-Haul declined to comment on specific migration patterns, but did say prices often reflect ongoing trends

“When there is a substantial difference in pricing for the same one-way equipment, and for the same dates, between two markets, it is reasonable (and generally accurate) to conclude there is far greater demand for one-way equipment in the market reflecting higher costs for departures,” the spokesperson said.

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The migration from densely populated, expensive metropolitan areas to less expensive cities or nearby suburbs has been observed across many cities – from New York to San Francisco.

As previously reported by FOX Business, real estate activity in New York picked up in many areas last month – besides Manhattan.

Residential sales contracts in the Big Apple fell 31% when compared with the same period last year, according to a report by Miller Samuel Real Estate Appraisers & Consultants for Douglas Elliman, with the largest decline seen among the most expensive listings.

On the other hand, activity in the suburbs was booming.

In the Hamptons, specifically, single-family contract totals were described as continuing a “torrid upward pace,” two-fold what they were last year.

Even moving companies have described an “insane” uptick in moves out of Manhattan.

San Francisco has been dealing with similar challenges as remote work policies allow the technology industry more freedom when choosing a place of residence.

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