America’s household mobility rate, the per cent of the population that moves into new home in a year, has been falling since the mid-1980s.
A key driver of this trend has been the rise of homeownership in the 1990s. Homeowners are less like to move than renters. It’s much more expensive for homeowners to move because of broker fees, transaction costs, mortgage fees, insurance and so on, according to Bank of America’s Michelle Meyer.
This trend has been unfavorable for the housing market, which in turn has been a drag on GDP. In the short-run household mobility is projected to rise, according to Meyer, because of the decline in homeownership following the financial crisis, and the recent rise in home prices.
In the longer-run however an ageing population and the end of ultra-low mortgage rates will curb household mobility.
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