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10/13/2013 9:00:04 AM

ERA REAL ESTATE /HGTV SURVEY REVEALS APPETITE FOR OUT OF MARKET MOVES DRIVEN BY FINANCES, LIFESTYLE

MADISON, N.J. (Oct. 13, 2013) - ERA Real Estate, an international real estate franchisor, and HGTV.com, the leading home and garden website, recently tapped HGTV enthusiasts for their attitudes toward relocation and found 1 in 3 Americans would consider moving to another state in the next one to two years.  The main motivators for such a major move include financial as well as lifestyle considerations. 

"While U.S. unemployment has declined and real estate values have been on the rise, many Americans who met with financial challenges during the last five years may be looking to make a change by moving to a new job market," said Charlie Young, president and CEO of ERA Real Estate.  "That not only makes good financial sense, but would likely increase their quality of life."

For those consumers who would consider relocation, the primary financial drivers are better job opportunities and a lower cost of living, while curiosity about new places and better weather were equally important in the lifestyle consideration set.

For those who were not interested in a major move, 72% of respondents reported it was because they were happy living in their current local market.  

With U.S. Census data pointing to increased "migration" - the number of people who moved out of state or region in 2012 increased 6 percent over 2011 - and ERA brokers citing an increased interest in self-directed relocation, ERA Real Estate partnered with HGTV to dig deeper into the American appetite for relocation. 

"As the overall economy and job market improves, people are more likely to consider a major life change that is on their terms, not because they have to," said Dr. Leslie Reiser, a behavioral expert who worked with ERA Real Estate to understand consumer psychology, attitudes and behavior surrounding relocation. 

Moving to a market with better job prospects, a lower cost of living and better weather appears to be favorable to prospective house-hunters, even if it means leaving family and friends behind. 

In addition to the consumer survey with HGTV.com, ERA Real Estate also conducted a national survey of its real estate brokers, who cited an improving economy and real estate market as the main reasons that their clients find relocating out of their local market today more attractive than it was 2 to 3 years ago. Other findings include: 

  • About two-thirds (63%) of ERA brokers reported that homebuyers and sellers are more open to the idea of moving to a new area, outside of their current local market.  

  • Nearly half (48%) of the brokers indicated that they are seeing an increase in the number of people in their market relocating, driven equally by financial reasons (lower cost of living, better job opportunities, increased equity position and lower home prices) as they are motivated by lifestyle reasons (better weather, closer to family/friends, retiring, curious about new places).

  • ERA brokers reported that the two most important selling points in finding a home for a client who is relocating are home prices (29% of respondents) and schools (28%). Proximity to work was important for 17%.  Real estate taxes were not a major consideration: only 8% of respondents indicated that was a major selling point. 

ERA brokers also offered the following advice for people considering relocation on how to keep moving costs down:

  • Take advantage of discounts offered through affiliated/affinity services 

  • Do as much packing and moving as you can and lighten your load by downsizing as much as possible, even furniture. Buying new furniture may be cheaper than moving the old.

  • Time your move for the fall after school starts, or winter, which is considered off season.

A final word of advice from ERA brokers: Don't choose the house over the neighborhood. Carefully research the area to ensure you are investing in a home with high resale value to ensure your move will have the best return on your investment years later.

Methodology: ERA Real Estate, in conjunction with HGTV, surveyed consumers participating in HGTV's "Under the Roof" focus group to uncover attitudes and motivations related to relocation. The survey was fielded from August 8-15, 2013. In addition, ERA Real Estate conducted an online survey of its brokers to understand their clients' attitudes toward relocation. The survey was fielded between from September 11-19, 2013 and the results are based on responses from 286 respondents across the country.

About ERA Real Estate 
ERA Real Estate is an innovative franchising leader in the residential real estate industry with 40 years of experience in developing consumer-oriented products and services. The ERA network includes approximately 31,000 brokers and sales associates and approximately 2,300 offices throughout the United States and 33 countries and territories. Each office is independently owned and operated. ERA Real Estate is a subsidiary of Realogy Holdings Corp. (NYSE:RLGY), a global leader in real estate franchising and provider of real estate brokerage, relocation and settlement services.

Media Contact: Melissa Campbell
973-407-7904
melissa.campbell@era.com