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Realty Viewpoint: Renter Moving Trends Worth Watching

Written by on Thursday, 07 February 2008 6:00 pm

According to, what's motivating more than half of renters (55 percent) to move in 2008 are relocating for a job and reducing the cost of rent.

Only seven percent are moving to buy a home.


Last year's buyer-seller survey from the National Association of Realtors says that 41 percent of homebuyers were previous renters.

Seventy-five percent of first-time homebuyers were renters. That's huge, because 39 percent of home-buyers are first-timers.

That's a huge gap between 7 percent intending to buy a home and 41 percent following through. Wonder what's holding this year's renters back from buying?

The news in jobs isn't great.

The unemployment rate rose to 5 percent in December. A year ago, the rate was 4.5 percent. And it appears to be getting worse. New unemployment claims filings jumped to 69,000 last week, the highest number in two years.

That could mean more people will migrate in search of better jobs this year. If so, where will they go? has ranked the best cities for employment in 2008 , where a whopping 5 out of the top 20 were in Texas.

The top ten were ranked according to median income, unemployment, income growth, cost of living and job growth:

  1. Salt Lake City

  2. Wichita, Kansas

  3. Austin, Texas

  4. Atlanta, Georgia

  5. Fort Worth, Texas

  6. Indianapolis, Indiana

  7. Houston, Texas

  8. Omaha, Nebraska

  9. Raleigh, North Carolina

  10. Seattle, Washington

Now, if renters want cheap rents, where are the best places to live. Once again, Forbes does the math for its top 10, using vacancy rates, new-construction projects and job growth.

Here are their findings:

  1. Columbus, Ohio

  2. Indianapolis, Ind.

  3. Kansas City, Mo.

  4. San Antonio, Texas

  5. Cincinnati, Ohio

  6. Saint Louis, Mo.

  7. Cleveland, Ohio

  8. Houston, Texas

  9. Dallas, Texas

  10. Salt Lake City, Utah

Hmm. The lists don't seem to correspond. The only city to make both lists were Houston and Salt Lake City.

So, clearly, renters can't have it all. To get it all, they need to drill down to what will produce the greatest quality of life, and that's more than jobs and cheap rents. It could be buying a home.

Here are Entrepreneur Magazine's Top Four Cities To Buy A Home

  1. Killeen, Round Rock, Austin, Texas

  2. Mission Viejo, California

  3. Palm Beach, Florida

  4. Las Vegas, Nevada

Seventy-five percent of homebuyers in 2007 between the ages of 18 and 24 purchased a home because they wanted to own a home of their own.

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  About the author, Blanche Evans

Individual news stories are based upon the opinions of the writer and does not reflect the opinion of Realty Times.