Yun: How Jobs, Inflation May Influence Borrowing Costs

I Quit Text on Yellow Note

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The real estate industry is closely watching the so-called “Great Resignation,” a movement that started with the pandemic in which people are leaving the workforce in historically higher numbers. As more Americans quit their jobs, will they set out for greener pastures by moving to a new location?

The trend is only growing: In November, 4.5 million Americans left their jobs, pushing the nation’s resignation rate to a record high of 3%, MarketWatch reports. Some of the resignations have come as employers look to bring their workers back to the office after more than a year of remote work. About four in 10 workers say they’d look for a new job if their employer makes them come into the office five days a week, according to a survey of more than 2,300 people by University of Chicago researchers.

“ ‘Help wanted’ signs seem to be everywhere, as there are 10.6 million job openings. That is much higher than the figures for unemployed Americans in search of a job, at 6.3 million,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of REALTORS®. “The wage rate is showing an accelerating trend, with a 6% annualized gain in the fourth quarter of last year, up from 5% in the third quarter and 2% to 3% before the onset of the pandemic. Higher wages could feed into higher consumer price inflation, which, in turn, will lead to higher mortgage rates because lenders need to compensate for the loss in value of the purchasing power of money.”

More Americans may be feeling less tethered to a certain location. About 41% of employed Americans say they’d be willing to take a pay cut or accept a new job with a lower salary in order to move to a more affordable location, according to the latest consumer survey from Coldwell Banker. Younger people appear more willing to move than older workers: The Coldwell Banker survey found that respondents ages 18 to 44 are more likely than those ages 45 to 54 to be willing to accept a lower income in order to move to a more affordable location.

Miami, Atlanta, and Austin, Texas, have emerged as top locations where Americans say they’d like to relocate once they resign from their jobs, the survey found.