RELOCATION VOLUMES & BUDGETS
Volumes Decline in 2020, Optimism for 2021
2020 was a challenging year for the relocation industry; one out of three firms responding say relocation volumes decreased overall. This is similar across company size; however, there are companies that saw increases in relocation. Nearly half of midsize firms responding say they saw increases in relocation, but the impact of these higher volumes for some firms was muted by most firms across size seeing static or reduced volumes. Among firms relocating employees internationally, nearly 40% saw decreases in international volumes last year. Ironically, while midsize firms are the most likely to say relocation volumes increased overall, nearly half say they pulled back internationally, indicating any volume increases were domestic and not internationally driven. Across size, two out of three firms say international relocation volumes declined or stayed static rather than increased in 2020.
Almost half of respondents saw budgets increase in 2020, but this was likely driven by necessity as companies responded to the additional challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic rather than increased volumes. Roughly two out of three companies say the COVID-19 pandemic was the external factor that had the most significant impact on relocations last year. Midsize and large firms were the most likely to see budgets increased (48% and 54%, respectively), compared to only one out of three small firms. One out of four companies across size say budgets decreased, indicating lower volumes also saw some companies pull back on relocation budgets as well.
Even with the challenges of 2020, the outlook for 2021 is optimistic. Around half of firms responding expect increases in both overall and international relocation volumes, as well as relocation budgets. Large firms are the most optimistic, with almost two out of three expecting increases. While there are still some firms expecting decreases in volumes, this is roughly half or fewer of those seeing decreased volumes (overall and international) in 2020.
- 32% saw decreases in overall relocation volumes
- 38% saw decreases in international relocation volumes