eNews Subscribe to eNews

Why Only 11% of Us Are Moving

Friday, November 17, 2017

By John McManus

Businesses that thrive when American households, in droves, pack up their belongings and move them to another residence are mystified. Why, since the economy has been growing, wealth and household equity have been restored, and the Internet has continued to enable connectivity from nearly anywhere, haven't more people gotten the urge to move?

Here's a look from the Census' Current Population Survey at American mobility, which is falling as a percentage of a growing population.

Click to View This Graph Larger

You can see here that the absolute number of movers has hovered at an average of around the 35 million mark for 10 years now, spiking up to 37 million or so only a couple of times since the Great Recession. Before 2007, the average was up around 40 million.

However, it's the share of people moving that's been steadily declining, even as economic recovery, and job growth strength traces back almost five years now.

New Strategist Press editorial director Cheryl Russell observes:

Click to View This Graph Larger

Among people living in owned homes, 5.5% moved from one house to another between 2016 and 2017, above the all-time low of 4.7% recorded in 2011 and 2012. Among people living in rented homes, the mobility rate fell to a new all-time low of 21.7% in 2017.

Click to View This Graph Larger

That means one of two things. Either people like where they live and choose to stay in their dwellings longer, or they remain in those homes for other reasons. Census data that captures people's “reasons” motivating moves that do take place doesn't shed a lot light.

What the data does seem to signify is of material importance to businesses that sell and rent properties, and to those that remodel them. The 35 million or so people who do move are a more and more valuable customer universe, because they represent a smaller and smaller percentage of the whole. Likewise, the 288 million non-movers, who represent 89% of the United States population, are themselves a critical customer base to understand more about.

Recent remodeling trends data bear out the sense that the opportunity trajectory increases in direct correlation to a combination of economic growth and a decline in mobility rates. Here from Builder sibling title Remodeling is a piece entitled “Remodeling Work Is Speeding Up Nationwide, RRI Finds,” with data from Metrostudy.

Click to View This Graph Larger

“Big-ticket remodeling activity nationwide rose 1.2% in the third quarter from the second, and 4.8% from 2016's July-to-September period, hitting a new high, according to Metrostudy's latest Residential Remodeling Index (RRI) released today.

“The index rose to an unprecedented 110.0 in the third quarter, meaning that the economic conditions known to influence remodeling activity are 10% better than the old peak in early 2007, just before the Great Recession. The RRI has shown year-over-year gains for 22 consecutive quarters.”

More eNews

Summer Classics Buys Building in LaVilla, Florida

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A national manufacturer and retailer of high-end outdoor furniture is helping set the tone for redevelopment in LaVilla. Summer Classics last week purchased the 12,000 sq. ft. building at 1104 W. Adams St. for $1.2 million. It will be used as a retail...

» Continue

Napoleon Introduces True See-Through Electric Fireplace

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

A leader in the hearth industry for more than 40 years, Napoleon continues to bring innovative technology to the category, most recently with the launch of its CLEARion See Thru Electric Fireplace. Now available for purchase, the unique fireplace is the...

» Continue

Phifer Introduces Online Tool to Preview Fabrics

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Phifer Incorporated is excited to launch a new online tool designed to take the guesswork – and stress – out of choosing the perfect fabric to adorn outdoor settings. The new Outdoor Fabric Visualizer simplifies what can be a confusing if...

» Continue

Memphis Wood Fire Grills Hires David Carpenter

Friday, December 8, 2017

Memphis Wood Fire Grills has hired David Carpenter as the Northeastern Territory Representative. He brings years of experience to Memphis Grills from the Solar Industry as both a Regional Sales manager and as a Sales consultant. An avid foodie, Carpenter...

» Continue