I've been wondering a lot about this myself. thanks for bring it up
From the small sample-size I've heard from, it seems to be a pretty big factor. Especially if its a halfway through a project since those situations are typically more time sensitive. My line of thinking is its one of those deals where moving to a relevant area could only help. Pick an area and get out there, I guess. But thats often times much more easier said than done.
And I also have a slightly different question to throw into the mix related to my personal situation. I have plans of relocating to the LA area within the year once my current lease is up. Now should I be applying to places before I get out there with the verbal commitment that I'll be relocating on my own in a few months time? or should I wait til I'm actually settled out west before applying to local places?
The only benefit I can see from applying before the move is that the company may utterly rock and help out a bit with the costs of moving (although extremely doubtful in my case based on my lack of experience). I am fully prepared to wait, but its just a little unnerving to voluntarily leap into unemployment as I'm dropping so much dough in relocation.
I'm sure this has to be a common thought people wrestle with while relocating, so I thought it relevant to this thread.