Report: Average home changes hands every 12 years

by Liz Hughes

The typical home in the U.S. changes hands every 12 years, down from 2020’s peak of 13.4 years and 12.9 years in 2021, according to a new Redfin report.

People staying in their homes longer is contributing to the lack of inventory that continues to impact buyers. Eleven years ago, homeowners stayed in their home for an average of 10 years. Eighteen years ago it was six and a half years. 

That longer tenure is being driven by older Americans as those 65 and older having owned their home at least 23 years and those ages 35-64 owned for at least eight years, according to the report. 

Yet, younger homeowners are on the move. Nearly half (49%) have owned their homes for three years or less and another 37% have owned their homes for four to seven years. 

Beyond that there are several other reasons, Redfin found, that folks are staying in their homes longer than they have in the past couple of decades including lack of affordability due to rising mortgage rates, lack of move-up buyers who don’t want to give up their low interest rates, historically high rental prices and inventory shortages.

Redfin senior economist Sheharyar Bokhari said that even though the length of time Americans are staying in their homes has ticked down from its 2020 peak, it’s likely to head back up again in the next few years. 

“Today’s mortgage rates are more than double the lows reached during the pandemic homebuying frenzy, which means people have extra incentive to hang onto their homes,” Bokhari said. “Even if rates dip down to 4% or 5%, that’s still significantly higher than the sub-3% rates many homeowners have now. That lock-in effect, combined with older Americans’ desire to stay put in their homes, points to lengthening tenure in the future.”

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