When Zillow asked homeowners whether they’d like to move to a different home or improve their current home based upon a fixed spending amount for a down payment, they overwhelmingly said they’d choose to improve or renovate their current home.

This choice to stay in place and renovate cuts across all ages. Take a look:

  • 18 – 34 year olds – 66%
  • 35 – 54 year olds – 73%
  • 55 and up –            87%
  • retirees –                91%

When tallied together, 76% of all owners would choose to renovate their current home rather than move to a different one.

All of this data about renovating and moving was collected in Zillow’s latest Housing Aspirational Report.

When Zillow asked homeowners about their intentions to sell their current home within the next 6-12 months, 63% responded that they have no plans to sell their existing home at this time. Why? Two primary reasons…they LOVE their home and moving is too big a hassle.

Another reason not to move has to do with rising interest rates. Since January 2018, interest rates have risen some 90 base points. Homeowners who have lower interest rates associated with their mortgage loan are not interested in having to pay a higher interest rate if they were to buy a different home, even if that home were smaller and less expensive than their current home.

These three reasons to renovate and stay in place may certainly be contributing to the country’s historical housing inventory shortage. Nationally, the number of homes for sale has fallen on an annual basis for 43 consecutive months.

Among the 20 metros Zillow surveyed for its Housing Aspirational Report, Boston and Detroit residents (80% in both cities) were the most likely to renovate their homes and stay in place. Residents in Los Angeles, just 66%, were likely to renovate rather than moving to a different house.

The majority of renters (some 67%) would also prefer to stay and make changes to the unit where they’re currently renting rather than having to put a chunk of money towards a down payment for a home they would own. Zillow’s research team did not indicate specific reasons that renters have to stay in place.

Behavioral experts have always said that moving is considered among the top five most stressful experiences. (The other top 5 stressors in no particular order are death of a loved one, divorce, major illness/injury and job loss.) Apparently, Zillow’s latest Housing Aspirational Report helps to validate behavioral research.