Considerably fewer American homebuyers and renters are moving today than were a half-century ago, particularly in the wake of the most recent housing market crash, according to CityLab.
In a new report, Yale Law School Professor David Schleicher outlines four federal, state and local government policies that have contributed to the decline in mobility: the arrival of homeownership subsidies; an increase in land-use restrictions; a rise in occupational licensing that ties workers to the state or district in which they are certified; and municipal bankruptcy procedures that keep declining cities’ services online longer than would be expected.
Schleicher proposes incentives such as a relocation-subsidy that would target economically depressed areas.
Just one in 10 Americans moved between 2015 and 2016, according to new data from the Census Bureau — the lowest level since the agency began tracking migration in 1948. Meanwhile, figures from moving company Atlas Van Lines indicate that the overall number of interstate and interprovince moves in the U.S. and Canada last year fell to 75,427 from 77,705 in 2015.
While Americans may not be moving as much as in previous years, higher home prices and affordability issues in larger East and West coast metros have helped to spur migration to and within smaller markets like Denver, Nashville, TN, and Orlando, FL, Realtor.com reported last month.
Similarly, the Midwest and Rust Belt are set for an uptick in migration, driven by companies looking to relocate their operations to those markets for their lower cost of living. Many of these markets, such as Madison, WI, Columbus, OH, and Minneapolis, are home to a larger share of millennials than the national average, which is likely to spur demand for housing there.
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