Where Does Location Affordability Drive Residential Mobility? An Analysis of Origin and Destination Communities

Andrew J. Greenlee, Beverly K. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Despite an overall decrease in residential mobility after the 2007 housing crisis, many households, particularly those that are low income, continue to move in pursuit of a better life. Traditional theories of residential mobility suggest that mobility will occur when housing and transportation costs are cumulatively greater than the cost of moving to a new location. At the same time, the influence of these factors is not likely to be uniform across geographic contexts or for moves up or down the metropolitan hierarchy. Our analysis examines how well affordability measures explain patterns of county-level residential mobility. Specifically, we contrast conventional measures of affordability focused on the ratio of income to housing expense with measures of location affordability that factor in both housing and transportation costs. We find that whereas households tend to move from lower to higher cost locations, transit affordability at the destination plays an important role in mobility decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)583-606
Number of pages24
JournalHousing Policy Debate
Volume26
Issue number4-5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2 2016

Keywords

  • Residential mobility
  • location affordability
  • population change

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development
  • Urban Studies
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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