In an economy as challenging as the one we are working under as we enter the second decade of the 21st Century, the mantra "location, location, location" will play an especially important role not only for REALTORS and investors, but also for builders and other construction-industry professionals. Knowing where Americans choose to move, or want to live is knowledge content that could prove most beneficial. According to Allied Van Lines' 42nd Annual Magnet States Report, more individuals and families chose to settle deep in the heart of Texas than anywhere in the United States in 2009.

For the fifth year in a row, Texas outshined every other state and took the lead as the No. 1 destination state in 2009 based on Allied's report, which tracks U.S. migration patterns.

Texas realized the highest net relocation gain (inbound moves minus outbound moves performed by Allied Van Lines, one of the world's largest moving companies) of almost 2,000 in 2009, slightly higher than last year's gain of about 1,900. Arizona placed second with a net relocation gain of 566, followed closely by North Carolina in third place with a gain of 564. Colorado and Florida placed fourth and fifth respectively for states with the largest net relocation gains.

“We moved a wide variety of people here this year - from singles to families to retirees and all from various backgrounds, which makes a lot of sense. Texas is just so diverse and welcoming to different cultural and ethnic groups," said Ben Hurwitz, president of Westheimer Transfer & Storage, Houston, Texas, and one of the longest-standing domestic and international agents of Allied Van Lines, a leading moving company worldwide. "We also did a lot of corporate relocations this year for some very large companies based in Texas. And that's not surprising since we're such a business friendly state, too." The Lone Star State racked up almost 8,800 total shipments and ranked second behind California which had almost 11,000 total shipments and claimed the title of "most mobile state" (the highest volume of inbound and outbound shipments by international mover Allied Van Lines), followed by Florida in third place with just over 8,600 total shipments.

“Texas remains the best place in America to live, work and raise a family," said Bill Hammond, president of the Texas Association of Business. "Our business climate, diverse culture, and unique sense of independence make our state the envy of the nation. Companies like Allied Van Lines, which help relocate families to our great state, are essential to the Lone Star State continuing to shine." Opinions of Texas have changed in recent years, according to Bill Jones, chairman of the Texas Association of REALTORS®.

“Texas seems to be the cheap seats but with a great view," Jones said. "Just 20 years ago, our wonderful state wasn't the first choice for many people. But now people from all over are noticing we have everything you could possibly want - from reasonably priced housing, to plenty of land for business and housing development, to a wide variety of fine arts and recreational opportunities." Michigan experienced the highest net relocation losses (more outbound than inbound shipments), followed by Illinois, Pennsylvania, New Jersey and California. A troubled auto industry and housing market most likely continued to negatively affect relocations to Michigan, as Allied Van Lines' outbound shipments of 2,210 were about double its inbound shipments of 1,019 for the state. Illinois experienced the second largest net relocation loss with 942 more outbound than inbound moves, closely followed by Pennsylvania with a net relocation loss of 854, and California with a loss of 459.

Location, location, location – knowing where markets are heading could be the difference between success and failure.

[Editor's Note: For more information about Allied Van Lines, visit www.allied.com.]

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