Impact of Residential Move on Housing Costs

Why is this important?

Residential mobility, or moving, for an average household depends on a wide array of push and pull factors. In general, push factors are negative reasons for a residential move associated with the place a household is seeking to leave. Pull factors are positive reasons associated with potential destinations [i].  This push-pull relationship generally explains the average US household’s housing cycle, but these decision-making factors may not hold true for low-income households. Low-income households have many more things pushing them to move than the average household [i].

Residential moves often effect the amount households spend on housing. Ideally, an increase in housing costs would correlate with an intentional upgrade in the size and/or quality of housing. Such an upgrade is often involved in the purchase of a new home. However, in a housing market where costs are rapidly increasing, an increase in costs for renters after a residential move can indicate an increased cost burden not necessarily correlated with an increase in housing quality. The most prominent push factor for low-income households is the high cost of housing [i].


[i]  Garshick Kleit, Rachel, Seungbeom Kang, and Corianne Payton Scally. “Why Do Housing Mobility Programs Fail in Moving Households to Better Neighborhoods?” Housing Policy Debate, 26.1 (2016).