View full size In this photo, Dave Hernandez, 49, a driver at Stevens Worldwide Van Lines wraps furniture in protective furniture pads and stacks it in a moving van. Melanie Sochan | 

SAGINAW, MI — United Van Lines moving trucks carried Saginaw, Bay and Midland county residents to new homes outside Michigan more often than to homes in those three counties from outside of the state last year.

Though the numbers are not comprehensive, United Van Lines Vice President Carl Walter says the data accurately reflects trends.

“As the nation’s largest household goods mover, United’s data is an accurate reflection of the overall U.S. moving trends,” Walter stated in the release. “Tracking the number of inbound and outbound domestic moves helps provide insight into overall migration trends.” stevensworldwidevanlinessaginaw.JPG 



Barb Muessig, marketing director for Saginaw-based Stevens Worldwide Van Lines, said the company compiles similar data, though officials declined to share specific numbers.

Muessig said Stevens Worldwide Van Lines’ 2012 data shows similar trends to the United Van Lines study with regard to inbound and outbound migration.

“We see more people moving out of our counties (Saginaw, Bay and Midland), out of state, and we see less people moving from out of state into those counties.”

Still, the company sees bright spots for the Great Lakes Bay Region.

“We are seeing movement in the residential markets, and also with some of our corporate clients, like the Dow Chemical Co.,” Muessig said. “We were also excited to help with the move to the new airport — a nice addition to the region and a sign of confidence.”

Tom Darger, president of the Midland County Board of Realtors, couldn’t speak to inbound and outbound migration but praised the health of Midland County’s real estate market.

“I don’t have inflow, outflow data for Midland County, what I can tell you is we’ve had a very healthy real estate market,” he said.

Darger said agents with the Midland County Board of Realtors sold 927 houses in 2012, up from 844 in 2011.

“It’s our best year since 2005 in Midland, in terms of total houses sold.”

The 36th annual United Van Lines study shows Michigan is one of 11 states with high outbound migration.

According to the study, Bay County had 15 inbound and 24 outbound moves, Midland County had 79 inbound and 104 outbound moves, and Saginaw County had 16 inbound and 40 outbound moves. United Van Lines tracks all household moves handled by United Van Lines within the 48 contiguous states and Washington, D.C.

According to the study, the top five locations to receive new residents in 2012 were:

  • District of Columbia
  • Oregon
  • Nevada
  • North Carolina
  • South Carolina


And the top five states for outbound migration in 2012 were:

  • New Jersey
  • Illinois
  • West Virginia
  • New York
  • New Mexico

United Van Lines classifies states as having high inbound migration if 55 percent or more of the moves are going into the state, and classifies states as having high outbound migration if 55 percent or more moves were coming out of a state. A third classification, balanced, is reserved for states in which the difference between inbound and outbound migration is negligible.

Stevens Worldwide Van Lines Chief Operating Officer Joe Bisker said the company feels confident in the region.

“Stevens Worldwide Van Lines has been part of the region for 108 years, and we’re here to stay,” she said. “We have a strong base here and offer services, jobs and encouragement across the region. In fact, we are just in the midst of a major renovation at our headquarters here in Saginaw County. We are optimistic about the future, and we recognize the need to be positive and to look for ways to reinvent how we do business.”

Heather Jordan can be reached at             989-450-2652       or Follow @HeatherLJordan

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