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

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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 ...