Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Homeowners Are Stuck

Paralysis in the housing market can be diagnosed in the latest statistics on geographic mobility. Fewer homeowners moved between 2005 and 2006 than in the previous 12-month period, according to the Census Bureau. The number who moved dropped by 888,000, and the percentage who moved fell from 7.5 to 7.1 percent.

Although the Census Bureau's latest mobility statistics show no statistically significant change in the nation's mobility rate since the previous report (with 14 percent of Americans moving during each 12-month period), the overall stability masks diverging trends in mobility rates by homeownership status. While the latest report finds homeowners less likely to move, the opposite is true for renters. The number of renters who moved between 2005 and 2006 climbed by 837,000 over the previous 12-month period, and the percentage who moved grew from 30.2 to 30.5 percent.

For more about the nation's movers, see the Census Bureau's latest geographic mobility report.