People are moving again

Bloomberg is out today with an article confirming that people are, once again, moving around the country.

This is a big deal for the real estate business.

The Great Recession essentially froze people in place, because they couldn’t sell their (underwater) homes and had little confidence in finding work in other cities.

This was really bad for our economy, which depends upon the labor market efficiently allocating workers to growing companies.

If workers are stuck in place and can’t chase higher pay in new places, companies can’t grow as fast as their demand would otherwise allow, reducing the potential GDP growth rate.

Now that people are starting to move for work again, LA (and the rest of coastal CA) needs to ask itself: Do we want to be the kind of place that can attract ambitious people from other parts of the country?

Right now, we can’t, because our housing costs are so high that the act as a barrier to (particularly younger) workers relocating here.

We urgently need to target transit-rich neighborhoods for radical up-zoning in order to bring tens of thousands of relatively affordable units onto the market, and thereby get our share of the hard-working, risk-taking labor willing to move here in search of better lives.