Home owners are starting to feel freer to move where the jobs are, Reuters reports, as worries about homes that won’t sell or will sell at a loss begin to fade.
Since early 2012, home prices in the major metro areas have been rising. Homes are also selling faster: It took 62 days, on average, to sell a home, compared with 91 days one year prior, according to March data from the National Association of REALTORS®.
The increase in mobility from the recovering housing market is expected to have a hand in lowering the jobless rate.
“Until the real estate market picked up, people wouldn’t even consider a move without the certainty that they could sell their homes,” Jerry Funaro, vice president of global marketing for TRC Global Solutions, a Milwaukee-based relocation service, told Reuters. “Companies are now more inclined to make offers since we’re seeing real estate markets across the country coming back.”
The number of people who moved last year increased to 35.6 million, with the mover rate climbing to 12 percent, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. That marked an increase over the 11.6 percent low set in 2011.
“It’s not a huge gain, but when you consider that for two years, we’ve had the lowest migration rates since World War II, any move up is good news,” William Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution in Washington, told Reuters.
Meanwhile, in April, the jobless rate dropped to its lowest point in more than four years, reaching 7.5 percent, due to an increase in hiring among employers.
Source: “Insight: Housing improvement may herald return of U.S. workforce mobility,” Reuters (May 13, 2013)