New job opportunities have more people on the move, according to a survey by conducted in January to gauge its Web site visitors' 2011 moving plans.

While new job opportunities have more residents relocating, more current home owners are also entering the rental market, which is a growing trend, the survey finds.
Here are some of the survey’s findings:

—Reasons for moving: The most popular reason for moving was because of employment opportunities: 28.8 percent survey respondents said they were relocating for a job, compared to 10.4 percent who moved for job opportunities the previous year. Other popular reasons residents cited for moving are: Looking for a bigger apartment (13.3 percent), shopping for a less expensive apartment (9.7 percent), rent increase (6.7 percent), and wanting to live in a safer neighborhood (5.7 percent).

—Growing trend: More current home owners and first-time renters are entering the rental market, according to the survey. More than 20 percent of the survey’s respondents who are looking for an apartment this year said they are current home owners—32 percent of whom are also first-time renters. Former home owners say they are renting because it offers them more flexibility to relocate for employment opportunities and to live where they want.

—Planning ahead: Many of the survey’s respondents said they are apartment shopping now for a move that will not take place until much later in the year. Indeed, nearly 20 percent of respondents are starting their apartment search three to four months in advance and nearly a quarter are looking five months to more than a year out.

It's a good idea to lock into a lease right now, says Chris Brown, vice president of product management for Many management companies have announced rent increases. As vacancy rates continue to drop and the rental market improves, we expect to see the upward trend grow. Deals can still be had, but they're getting harder to find.”

Source: “ National Survey Reveals Renter Moving Plans for 2011,” PRNewswire (Feb. 22, 2011)

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