Florida Construction News staff writer
Ocala is the top growth city in America for 2022, based on the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks during the past year, and four Florida destinations are among the top 25 on the annual U-Haul Growth Index.
It is the third consecutive year that a Florida city has topped the U-Haul growth rankings. The Kissimmee-St. Cloud corridor earned that honor in 2021. North Port was No. 1 for 2020.
U-Haul transactional data reveals Ocala saw a 6% year-over-year increase in arrivals and only a 1% increase in departures. Do-it-yourself movers arriving in Ocala accounted for more than 53% of all one-way U-Haul truck traffic in and out of the market (47% departures).
The Sacramento-Roseville, California market and Madison, Wisconsin rank second and third on the 2022 growth cities list. Both have held the top ranking in recent years.
Palm Bay-Melbourne and North Port were also in the top 10
“Florida had a number of top growth cities, Ocala being No. 1,” said Ed Hatcher, U-Haul district Vice president who oversees operations across northern Florida. “A lot of that has to do with the small-town feel and everything being extremely close for people to get to.”
Ocala also receives U-Haul trucks from people moving to neighboring communities like The Villages, Leesburg, and Orlando suburbs such as Clermont
The U-Haul Growth Index is compiled according to the net gain of one-way U-Haul trucks arriving in a city or state, compared to the number departing and can be an effective gauge of how well cities and states are attracting and maintaining residents.