For most of us, moving is a nightmare. Last summer, I moved from a ground-floor apartment to a fifth-floor walkup and let me tell you: It was not awesome.
So when I learned that a record-low number of Americans moved in 2017, I thought, well duh. It's terrible.
It's also an economic indicator of sorts. According to Trulia, just under 11% of people, or 34.9 million movers, relocated last year. It's the lowest moving rate in the U.S. since the Census Bureau started tracking this data more than 50 years ago.
The reason could be a result of limited housing inventory, which is at a 20-year low, according to Realtor.com. With limited supply and steady demand, this could mean current homeowners are holding onto their digs, and renters considering buying are priced out of the market. For those who are hoping to move into their first house in the next year, these strategies can help you beat out the competition in a bidding war (and not all of them require dropping as much money as possible).
On more positive note, renters may be staying put because it's becoming more affordable. Especially for those under age 35 (the age bracket that accounts for the largest share of movers), fewer people are moving because they need cheaper accommodations — suggesting that rents may be stabilizing across the market. Millennials who are moving are doing so for more encouraging reasons, namely to start their own households or because they want newer, better housing.
But if you already have a sweet deal on rent, it may be smarter to continue renting than it is to buy a home anytime soon. Plus, a recent study pointed out that renting doesn't have to mean throwing away money if you invest the funds you would have otherwise spent on buying and owning a home. For those considering a change of address because of high housing costs, here are a few options to reduce your rent in either your current situation or on a new lease.