How Long Do Families Stay in a Home?

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) keeps historic data on many aspects of homeownership. One of the data points that has changed dramatically is the median tenure of a family in a home. As the graph below shows, for over twenty years (1985-2008), the median tenure averaged exactly six years. However, since 2008, that average is almost nine years – an increase of almost 50%.Why the dramatic increase?The reasons for this change are plentiful. The top two reasons are:The fall in home prices during the housing crisis left many homeowners in a negative equity situation (where their home was worth less than the mortgage on the property).The uncertainty of the economy made some homeowners much more fiscally conservative about making a move.However, with home prices rising dramatically over the last several years, over 90% of homes with a mortgage are now in a positive equity situation with 70% of them having at least 20% equity.And, with the economy coming back and wages starting to increase, many homeowners are in a much better financial situation than they were just a few short years ago.What does this mean for housing?Many believe that a large portion of homeowners are not in a house that is best for their current family circumstances. They could be baby boomers living in an empty, four-bedroom colonial, or a millennial couple planning to start a family that currently lives in a one-bedroom condo.These homeowners are ready to make a move. Since the lack of housing inventory is a…

Percentage of Homeownership by Decade and by State

There has been a lot of talk about the falling homeownership rate in the United States. In December 2004, the homeownership rate reached an all-time high of 69.4%, while the current rate is 62.9%. When comparing these two figures, there is some room for concern regarding the difference.However, today we want to shine some light on the issue by:Showing what historic homeownership rates have looked like over the last 130 years.Breaking down the current percentages by state.Historic Homeownership Rates:Current Homeownership Rates by State:All of the states that you see in blue on the map above have a greater homeownership rate than the national average.Bottom LineThough the homeownership rate has fallen recently, the percentage is still at a healthy rate compared to historic numbers, and most states currently have a higher percentage than the national average.