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More Looking for Mortgages Far, Far Away

It seems the current recession could be prompting significant migrations from certain parts of the U.S., similar to a trend seen during the Great Depression. And not only are Americans moving, they're moving farther, according to new data. A survey from Relocation.com released Tuesday shows consumers are moving longer distances and making more out-of-state moves compared to a year ago, mainly due to economic factors like the loss of a job. The percentage of respondents who moved more than 1,000 miles reached 70%, nearly double the figure recorded in a similar survey conducted in early 2008. The latest U.S. Census Bureau data actually shows a decrease in the total number of Americans who have recently moved.  In 2007, 13.2% of Americans moved, while 11.9% moved in 2008, posting the lowest rate since 1948. But of those consumers who moved, the new Relocation.com data shows that the financial crisis had a definite impact, with 60% more consumers now listing financies as the primary reason for moving compared to last year; 41% of respondents indicated that the recession and housing crisis had a strong influence on their decision to move. The survey also found 3% of respondents lost their home through foreclosure, while 13% reported a job loss. The number of people who said they moved for family reasons rose from 18% in the 2008 survey to 28% in 2009. Relocation.com says the numbers could reflect people moving in with family members to cut costs, a desire to be close to family members or other reasons. "Even though a smaller total number are relocating, consumers are still on the move for jobs, better housing or family reasons," says Sharon Asher, chairman and founder, Relocation.com. "We are seeing more out-of-state moves from traditionally popular destinations, likely because of high foreclosure rates and diminished property values." A small percentage of movers were making moves for the better with five percent of those surveyed moving to a "bigger, better" house, while 8% were looking for a better neighborhood to improve their lifestyle. Relocation.com is an online marketplace that connects consumers who are relocating with professional movers. The website also provides free quotes for such services to web browsers. The researchers at the website analyzed nearly 500,000 moving quote requests made to Relocation.com in 2008, the company found cities in the West and South continue to appeal most to people relocating. The biggest beneficiaries of population displacement around the nation were the Carolinas, which saw nearly 80% more moving requests to move to North Carolina than to leave North Carolina. South Carolina saw nearly 70% more moving requests to move into the state than to leave, while Texas saw 66% more and Georgia saw 36% more. Write to Kelly Curran at kelly.curran@housingwire.com.

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