A new TransUnion analysis reveals that consumers are moving to different homes at higher rates from May through December, and not simply during the summer months. The study suggests that collection agencies need to update contact information more frequently than they might already do.
The study verified that the most popular month for moves is August, accounting for 10.1% of all moves. But the later months of the year are not far from that peak and are all above the monthly average - from September at 9.6% to, perhaps surprisingly, December at 8.5%, according to TransUnion.
"Most collections agencies, financial and insurance companies know they need to update the contact information in their files at least once a year, but many assume the new school year signals a slowdown in household moves," said Tim Martin, executive vice president at TransUnion. "Our analysis of consumer address changes found that consumers are constantly moving throughout the year, even in presumed lower volume months such as October, November and December.
"After the August move peak, collections agencies, financial services companies and insurance providers should strategically update their files in September to include the new address data on consumers or businesses that owe debts. However, only conducting one batch update in September would leave companies with inaccurate data for many months as consumers continue to move at year-end. We recommend another batch update late in the year, or perhaps at the beginning of the new year."
The lowest moving volumes occur in January, February and March, according to TransUnion, when the percent of household moves falls between 6% and 7.5% each month. The amount of household moves spikes as the year progresses into spring, hitting 8% by May before the August peak.
The TransUnion analysis included self-reported consumer address changes, insurance filing reports and other data from 2007 to 2014, and found consistent results for states across the U.S.