A Moving Story

In response to my blog on rising office vacancies, Lydia, a veteran property manager, writes: “The only way to get a tenant these days is to steal him from someone else, and even that’s tough because a) moving costs money and b) landlords are willing to give concessions to keep existing tenants.”

Business people are moving – back home. “It’s back to the basement,” one office tenant told me. As the volume of work decreases for small businesses of one, two or three people, the owner can no longer justify paying the extra monthly expense for an office.

In the residential market, Conor Dougherty reports in a 4/23/09 WSJ article, that the Census Bureau recently reported a “national mover rate” of 11.9% in 2008, the lowest since the Bureau started keeping track in 1948. “About 35 million people moved” in 2008, compared to 39 million in 2007.

“Renters are five times more likely to move than homeowners are.” The number of people who relocate in the same area has been slowing for several years but this past year saw a steep decline. The western and southern areas of the U.S. have the most mobility.

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