Homeowners Staying in their Homes Longer

The typical American homeowner in 2019 had spent 13 years in their home, up from eight years in 2010. Median home tenure increased in all of the 55 metros Redfin analyzed.

Many local governments have put policies in place that reduce property tax burdens for senior citizens, which have made it more affordable for older people to stay in their homes longer. For example in Texas, where homeowners tend to stay put the longest, homeowners over the age of 65 have the option to defer property taxes until the home is sold.

Homeowners age 67 to 85 are remaining homeowners longer causing a shortage of 1.6 million homes according to a report by Freddie Mac. In San Francisco, the median homeowner had been in their home for 14 years in 2019, compared to only 10 years in 2010. At the same time, there are about half as many homes for sale in San Francisco than there were in 2010, and the homes that are for sale are more expensive — the median home price has more than doubled in San Francisco since 2010.

Homeowners who already live with walkable access to amenities like schools, parks and shops are more likely to stay put in homes. And when homeowners stay put that means fewer homes are for sale. In zip codes with above-average Walk Score? ratings for their metro, the median home tenure is 11 months longer and there is more competition for the homes that are listed with homes staying on the market eight fewer days compared to zip codes with below-average Walk Score ratings. That means first-time homebuyers who are still looking to own a home and start a family are relegated to neighborhoods in less walkable exurbs on the outskirts of town.

Source: Freddie Mac and Redfin.