Top reasons Americans relocate

Shifting trend lines are good news for homebuilders, analysis finds

By Inman News Feed
Add Comment Add Comment | Comments: 0 | Posted Apr. 20, 2012

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Here's where the data gets interesting -- again. Starting in 2001, the most popular reason (almost 50 percent of responses) why people moved was because they wanted to own their home, not rent. That response continued to decline until it reached a temporary bottom of about 33 percent in 2007, then jumped back a bit for a few years, and finally the response hit a new low in 2011.

On the other hand, from 2001 through 2008, less than 10 percent of respondents cited cheaper housing as a reason for moving. In 2010 and 2011, more than 10 percent responded with that motivation for moving.

This trend line clearly suggests people are moving because rents exceed mortgage payments in many markets around the country.

Also, to follow Porter's line of thinking, this information can be important to the folks who are thinking about new residential construction.

"Homebuilders want to maximize profits when selling a home or designing a community," Porter said. "When you see an increasing share of buyers say they are moving for affordability reasons, a builder should take that into consideration."

Steve Bergsman is a freelance writer in Arizona and author of several books. His latest book, "Growing Up Levittown: In a Time of Conformity, Controversy and Cultural Crisis," is now available for sale on

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