Salient to Investors:
An estimated 12 percent of US residents moved in the year ended March 2012, up from a 63-year low of 11.6 percent the prior year. About 1.7 percent moved from one state to another, the most in five years. A lack of migration the past few years helps explain why 3.6 million jobs were unfilled in August, 719,000 more than in January 2009.
Mark Zandi at Moody’s Analytics said increased mobility will facilitate a quicker improvement in the job market – expect mobility to steadily improve as job opportunities and house prices increase.
Bank of St. Louis President James Bullard said migration is an encouraging trend and has been a historical strength for the US versus Europe, where moves are hampered by language differences. Bullard said boom areas that have benefited from energy production, including Texas and North Dakota, are drawing more job hunters.
Mark Vitner at Wells Fargo Securities said increased hiring and mobility support each other, and forecasts job growth and modestly increasing mobility over the next five years back to prevailing levels that existed in 2007.
Mark Mather at the Population Bureau said the aging US population hinders a return to the 1960s when as much as 20 percent of the population moved in some years. Mather said people ages 25 to 29 are twice as likely to move as the total population.
Brad Hunter at Metrostudy said a rise in home prices this year for the first time since 2006 is allowing more homeowners to sell and move.
Charles Lieberman at Advisors Capital Mgmt said mobility is clearly good news for the housing industry and Realtors – homeowners spend much more money on improvements, decorating etc after they move.
Texas had 8 of the 15 fastest growing large cities between April 1, 2010, and July 1, 2011.
William Frey at Brookings said the gain in mobility means young people may be able to go on with their lives.