Work/career mobility is becoming a mainstay of the U.S. labor landscape, and it may have a significant effect on housing. During the recent recession, mobility was down. The U.S. Census Bureau reported that fewer Americans were moving from March 2007 to March 2008, the lowest number since 1962, reports The New York Times. But as experts suggest, a growing economy can spur increasing rates of migration.
If these rates begin to rise, affordable housing will become increasingly important to households where individuals need flexibility to follow their jobs. Cash Nickerson, president and CEO of PDS Tech, believes that employment and real estate are closely intertwined. According to Realtor.com, Nickerson predicts the following trends:
- The automobile is a mobile housing unit, so the actual house footprint will get smaller.
- Companies need to engage in housing services by offering their workers counsel or temporary housing opportunities.
- A need for house leasing or short-term purchase options will become more acute.
- Transactional costs associated with real estate purchases need to be restructured to minimize the financial burden on moving households.
Moving rates can differ in various regions throughout the U.S. In Chicago, local residential moves were down in 2009, said Patrick Bonnema, sales manager for Anderson Brothers Moving and Storage in Chicago. “Look at the economy, look at the banking industry, look at the credit industry. People can’t move, what are they going to do? Their homes are now worth less than what they originally paid, and they don’t want to take a loss.”
As housing prices rise and more underwater homeowners recoup their lost equity, time will tell how migration trends develop.