Data Shows Americans Moving Less; What This Means for Multifamily

Americans are on the move, though not as much as in recent years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 35.9 million U.S. residents (or 11.7 percent) moved between 2012 and 2013. This shows a decline from the 12 percent of Americans who moved in 2012.

Washington, D.C.—Americans are on the move, though not as much as in recent years. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 35.9 million U.S. residents (or 11.7 percent) moved between 2012 and 2013. This shows a decline from the 12 percent of Americans who moved in 2012.

The information, which was taken from Geographical Mobility: 2012 to 2013, also shows that in 2011 a record low of 11.6 Americans moved, which makes 2013’s numbers statistically similar to 2011.

The analysis showed that the most common reasons for moving were housing-related, at 48 percent. This was followed by family-related reasons at 30.2 percent and employment-related reasons at 19.4 percent.

So what does this mean for multifamily?

“Mobility has a lot of impact on apartment demand,” Jack Kern, managing director, Kern Investment Research LLC, tells MHN. “One of the more interesting results of the analysis showed that around two thirds of the movers stayed in the same county, while over 40 percent relocated less than 50 miles away. It seems to suggest that from an apartment owner’s perspective most of the renters are going to come from a relatively short distance away. This affects marketing and outreach programs for most properties. The long-distance movers, which are typically job relocations, are less than 25 percent of the total moves, and are of great interest to owners since transferees usually rent higher value units before deciding where to settle down.”

Multifamily residents are a lot more willing to move than homeowners. According to the data, 24.9 percent of renters moved between 2012 and 2013, compared with 5.1 percent of homeowners.

According to the analysis, the Northeast had the lowest mover rate at 7.8 percent, followed by the Midwest at 11 percent and the South at 12.8 percent. The Western region had the largest percentage of movers at 13.4 percent.

Other findings showed that families were more likely to move if they lived with their own child under the age of six. Additionally, unemployment was a factor in moving: between 2012 and 2013, 18.9 percent of the unemployed moved, compared with 11.9 percent of people who were employed.