After rising steadily for nearly a decade, home tenure decreased slightly in November 2021 to 13.2 years, from 13.5 years in November 2020.
Homeowner Tenure Flattened in 2021
The typical homeowner lived in their house for 13.2 years in 2021, down slightly from 13.5 years in 2020, according to Redfin.
Why the slight slide In 2021? The pandemic, remote working and record-low mortgage rates encouraged and enabled people to dive into the housing market. Redfin indicated that 31.1% of homeowners relocated during 2021 and they mostly relocated to more affordable areas.
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All that being said, homeowners are still living in their homes longer than they were even a decade ago when the median tenure was 10.1 years. Many of those homeowners who are staying longer in their homes are older homeowners who are aging in place, homeowners who have advantageously refinanced their mortgages and locked in 2021’s historically low interest rates and many are choosing to rent out rather than sell their homes to cash in on rent spiking in this supply strangled, ultra-competitive market.
According to Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather, “Homeowner tenure may have already peaked, or the decline in 2021 could be a blip before it climbs back up. There are competing forces at work. Remote work is encouraging homeowners to sell their homes in expensive cities and move to more affordable areas, which could pull tenure down. But on the flip side, rising mortgage rates may discourage people from selling and older Americans are staying put longer, which could push it back up.”
Where Homeowners Stay Longest
Market Median Tenure 12/21 Median Sale Price
Los Angeles 18 years $835,000
Urban Honolulu 17 years $715,500
Oxnard CA 17 years $805,000
Dayton OH 17 years $175,000
Anaheim CA 17 years $939,000
Cleveland 17 years $180,000
San Jose CA 17 years $1,365,250
Oakland CA 16 years $876,000
Wilmington DL 16 years $285,000
Nassau County NY 16 years $575,000
Memphis TN 16 years $275,050
Detroit 16 years $172,000
Miami 16 years $434,900
Fresno CA 16 years $380,000
Philadelphia 16 years $255,000
Camden NJ 16 years $268,000
Frederick MD 16 years $495,000
Akron OH 16 years $179,900
Chicago 15 years $287,000
San Francisco 15 years $1,489,500
Greatest Increases & Decreases in Tenure
Redfin’s study indicated that the Midwestern cities of Chicago, St. Louis and Detroit were among the cities where the greatest increases in tenure occurred from 2020 to 2021.
Cities where tenure decreased the most over this same period of time included Las Vegas, Atlanta and Tampa.
Seven California Locales Among Top 20 with Longest Tenure
California’s Proposition 13 essentially froze property taxes at the rate the proposition was passed into law in 1978 for as long as the owners stayed in the home. Those property taxes would only rise to reflect the home’s higher value when the homeowners sold that home. The result of Proposition 13? A growing population of older Californian homeowners chose to stay in their homes and sell it for fear that their next house would come at a much higher price tag due to reflective, commensurate property taxes.
Now, however, changes to Proposition 13 (as the law is still known) allows those senior homeowners to transfer their lower tax rate to a new home when they sell the house they’ve been living in for all these years. Redfinbelieves that when older homeowners learn about and understand these changes, California homeowner tenure could fall…and potential California homebuyers could cheer for having more supply from which to choose and, perhaps, more relatively affordable home prices.
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Thanks to Redfin.