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“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,” says 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 percent) 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 percent) 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).

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