Last week we talked about moving and the emotional and financial toll it can take on your family. This week we’re going to touch on why people aren’t moving as much, at least not for jobs.
It’s a new world out there; technology has made it possible to practically run a multi-million-dollar business from home in your pajamas. More employers are offering their staff the ability to work virtually from home, saving enormous amounts of corporate dollars. This could be part of the reason why, according to the U.S. census data, fewer people are relocating for jobs.
About 3.5 million people relocated for a new job or job transfer last year, which is a 10 percent drop from 2015, but there are other reasons as well. The once traditional family, where job transfers hinged on the primary breadwinner’s career, usually the husband, are almost gone. During the time I worked in the relocation business we had an awful expression for this, “the trailing spouse,” which conjured up nasty images. In the late 1980s, more than a third of job seekers relocated, and it has gone continually down to below 20 percent after 2000. The first half of this year shows only about 10 percent.
Thankfully these days, no one is trailing primarily because both spouses or partners generally contribute to the financials of the household, and job opportunities must be weighed very differently. In addition, with the high divorce rate and former spouses co-parenting their children, relocating presents logistical issues most employees don’t want to face.
Even for those willing to relocate, the previous generous incentives used to induce skilled workers to uproot themselves and their families have gotten smaller. Therefore, the cost of selling a property and moving to a different location is not being offset by companies as in past years. Add into this the low unemployment rate pretty much all over the country, enabling employees who may want to look for other opportunities to do it a lot closer to home.
Not only are job seekers unwilling to relocate but just regular people are deciding to stay put and renovate homes rather than give up a low mortgage rate and upend the family. Nationally, according to The National Association of Realtors, the sale of existing homes from June to July fell 0.7 percent. This represents the fourth straight month of declines. Compared with a year earlier in July of last year, sales were down 1.5 percent. Lack of inventory to sell is what is pushing sale prices up, keeping buyers out of the market, which depends on a continuing flow of new homeowners to keep it healthy.
We, however, in Manatee County are not having the same problems plaguing the rest of the country. Single-family sales for the month of July were up 19.2 percent from last year and up 10.1 percent for condos. Appreciation rates are also continuing their upward trend. This doesn’t mean we don’t have a shortage of inventory, we do, and in July it dropped a little further, but so far, the number of sales are being maintained.
Florida has never been a state that imported a lot of job seekers. That certainly has changed in recent years with so many younger people relocating from high priced, high taxed Northern states. However, for the most part, our incoming population consists of second-home buyers and retirees, and that’s what’s keeping the sales going.
So why aren’t you moving? Probably because Florida has lots to offer, not the least of which is a more relaxed way of life and sunshine. Have laptop, won’t travel.
More Castles in the Sand