Markets & Economy

Fewer people moving to buy rather than rent, more looking for cheaper housing

Forming own household, easier commute also cited as growing reasons behind relocations

Nearly 12 percent of the U.S. population -- 35.9 million people -- moved between surveys taken in 2012 and 2013, and nearly half cited a housing-related reason as their most important motivation, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau. Many wanted a new or better home or apartment; others wanted cheaper housing. Some wanted to own their home rather than rent, or to live in a better neighborhood or one with less crime. Some had the decision taken out of their hands -- they were foreclosed on or evicted. Nearly a third of movers (30.3 percent) cited a family reason for the change, including establishing their own household or change in marital status, among other reasons. Just under a fifth of movers (19.4 percent) pointed to a job-related reason, such as a new job or job transfer; to be closer to work or have an easier commute; to look for work or due to a lost job; or due to retirement, among other reasons. Compared to 1999, the share of people moving for better ...