According to the National Association of Realtors, most homeowners are sticking in their current home longer than ever before. In fact, nationwide we have seen homeowner tenure increases of 3 years since 2008. With the most recent national data available, in 2018, homeowner tenure reached a median value of 13 years. 13 years without a move sounds like an incredibly long time without a move, but everybody has a reason.
There is a Realtor rule of thumb that most homeowners move every 5-7 years, and this 13 year median tenure is double that. What’s the reason? Well, it’s hard to nail down the motivations of current homeowners, but if you look back about 13 years, we saw the start of the great recession where millions of homeowners saw big losses in equity. In some locations, they are just now recovering from those losses. My gut feel is that those losses factored into the homeowner tenure increases.
Additionally, across the last 13 years, most homeowners haven’t necessarily had huge increases in pay either, which makes it difficult to move up without large chunks of equity. Bottom line, many homeowners just can’t afford to move up and move out.
Lastly, a big shift in cultural habits is the “age in place” situation happening with many baby boomers. Instead of downsizing, many baby-boomers are simply improving their home to better accommodate their needs. All of this adds up to an extended homeowner tenure. This increase leads to fewer homes being available to new homeowners, decreasing the amount of inventory on hand, which in turn increases values across the nation. It’s just another cog in the supply and demand wheel that affects affordability.
The silver lining is things are looking much better along the front range than the national median. In Fort Collins, the median homeowner moves every 8 years and in Greeley, it’s every 7. While this is much better than areas in the North East (New York City is sitting at 15 years!) it used to be that homeowners along the front range moved every 4-5 years. That doubling in duration has definitely affected inventory and affordability.
The NAR article shows some area/regional/county specific numbers. The more you know about the trends in your specific area, the better able you are to make smart real estate decisions. Remember, I am always here as a guide to help you reach your goals and overcome any obstacles. Contact me if you’re thinking about making your next move!
About the Author: Jared Reimer is a native Coloradoan and an Associate Broker at Elevations Real Estate in Old Town Fort Collins. He’s a community advocate, business champion, blogger, leader, tireless volunteer, innovator, thinker and expert on all things real estate in Fort Collins and surrounding Northern Colorado. You’re likely to find Jared spending quality time outside with his wife, Kacie, and his kids, Hudson and Isla, or sharing a beer or two with a friend throughout Fort Collins. Call or text Jared at 970.222.1049 or email him at Jared@TheCraftBroker.com