Speaking of positive equity, RealtyTrac reports that the universe of equity-rich properties, defined as equity 50% higher than what's owed, swelled to 9.1 million in the fourth-quarter of 2013 from 7.4 million in the previous quarter. On the other end of the spectrum, those deeply underwater – owing 25% or more than what the house is worth – declined to 20% in December from 25% at the start of 2013.

These two trends are obviously encouraging to our respective industries, but they're also important to the national economy. We say that because fewer people will view a house as an albatross. Many people have been reluctant to buy a house for fear if they need to move in a year or two, they'll be stuck with an asset that has lost value.

Today, people feel more secure because they don't believe their mobility will be compromised. This is obviously an important factor in bringing more people into the housing market.

This is also an important factor in economic growth. If someone buys a house in Denver and two years later is offered a better job in Chicago, that person needs to feel confident the house can be sold without incurring a loss. When people feel more mobile and more confident, they're more likely to take steps to improve their economic situation.

The perception of unimpeded mobility is crucial to maintaining a vibrant housing market. Thankfully, we should see more labor mobility in 2014, which will lead to a more vibrant housing market and a more vibrant economy.

 Courtesy of Jessica Regan.

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