How Has the Pandemic Impacted Moving? A Look at the Trends

People have been asked to stay at home to help stop the spread of coronavirus – but what if they need to find a new home? The pandemic has complicated many aspects of life, including moving, and both residential and office relocations have been impacted.

Coronavirus Prompted Moves

There have been many different coronavirus-related reasons for moving. Many people lost their jobs and may have had to move to find cheaper housing or a new position. Some people decided to shelter in place with romantic partners, moving in together when they might not have done so under normal circumstances. Other people moved to get away from coronavirus hotspots, and some students were forced to move when their college campuses closed suddenly.

It all added up. According to Pew Research Center, 3 percent of U.S. adults say they moved because of the pandemic, and 6 percent say someone moved into their household because of the pandemic. Approximately one in five U.S. adults say that either they or someone they know moved because of the pandemic.

Overall Moving Rates Declined

Although the pandemic prompted some people to move, the coronavirus appears to have had a negative impact on the moving industry overall.

The U.S. military paused relocations in March. Military Times reported that this decision was expected to have serious negative consequences on the storage and moving industry, and IAM and the American Moving and Storage Association anticipated possible losses of more than $200 million.

KSDK reports that one transportation and relocation company reported a 40 percent drop in volume during April. Although the numbers showed signs of starting to bounce back quickly, the pandemic still created significant unknowns for the industry.

IBISWorld expects revenue for the moving services industry to decline by 3.6 percent in 2020, a result of decreased demand due to the coronavirus. The economic impact of the pandemic means that people have less disposable income, so even if they are moving, they may rely on less expensive alternatives.

Office Relocations Dropped, Too

COVID-19 also impacted the office moves industry. Many employers were forced to close their offices and establish work-from-home arrangements to comply with stay-at-home orders and to keep workers safe. Relocating offices just didn’t make sense for most companies.

According to the Boston Globe, the chief executive at the real estate group NAIOP Massachusetts said that some local employers with expiring leases were considering moving, but some decided to extend leases instead.

Safety Is a Top Concern

When moving services are used, safety is a priority.

Common safety measures include the use of masks and gloves. Moving crews may also try to maintain a distance of at least six feet from customers, and frequently touched surfaces should be disinfected regularly.

According to, moving services have generally been considered essential and therefore allowed despite stay-at-home orders. However, movers should pay attention to state and local orders regarding the pandemic and what is required to help stop the spread of coronavirus. It’s also important to keep up with recommendations from the CDC and OSHA. Both moving crews and customers need to work together to make moves as safe as possible.

As your moving, storage, logistics and corporate relocation insurance partner, we are here from you during COVID moves and beyond. Contact us to learn more.