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Fewer executives moving for work

Corporate relocations have dropped due to low home prices.

Corporate relocations have dropped due to low home prices.

A new study shows that falling home prices have played a significant role in making relocation for work more difficult.

According to a report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, only 6.9 percent of job seekers who found a job during the third quarter of the year moved to get it. That ratio was a significant drop-off from 13.4 percent of workers during the third quarter of last year and the lowest relocation rate ever since the firm began tracking the statistic in 1986. Analysts blamed the struggling real estate market for the difficulties.

"Continued weakness in the housing market is undoubtedly the biggest factor suppressing relocation," said John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of Challenger, Gray & Christmas, in the report. "Job seekers who own a home - even if they are open to relocating for a new job - are basically stuck where they are if they are unable or unwilling to sell their homes without incurring a significant loss."

Relocation has been dropping for many years. In 1993, the ratio was as high as 49.2 percent, and during the second quarter of last year, more than 18 percent of job seekers moved to find their new jobs.

Housing has become the largest reason why employees are staying put. According to a survey earlier this year by Atlas, housing and mortgage concerns were the biggest reason for employees to turn down relocation, while family concerns ranked second.