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Increasing Home Prices and Rates Drive Up Home Tenure

Nov 8, 2017

Anyone who needs additional proof that increasing mortgage rates and surging home prices are forcing Americans to stay in their current homes for much longer stretches only needs to look at the latest housing data released by ATTOM Data Solutions.

The company’s new quarterly home sales report shows that home owners who sold their properties during the third quarter of this year had owned them for 8.19 years on average, compared to the 7.97 years recorded in Q2 and the 7.77 years of the third quarter last year. This is also the highest level noted since the firm began keeping these statistics in 2000.

Topping the 99 urban areas with a population of 200,000 or more for which historical data exists, owners in Springfield, Massachusetts, on average owned their properties for 12.48 years. Worcester, Massachusetts was not far behind at 12.41 years, followed by New Haven, Connecticut, with 12.35 years; Boston, Massachusetts, with 12.25 years; and Bridgeport, Connecticut, with 12.24 years.

In Seattle, the average homeownership tenure was 10.16 years in the third quarter, which is the 18th longest in the United States and a new high for the city. Windermere Real Estate’s Head Economist, Matthew Gardner, said: “The marked increase in the length of time that Seattle homeowners are staying in their homes is notable – in 2000, the average homeownership tenure was 5.5 years, and today it is more than a decade.”

He said this helps to explain why there was such a shortage of housing stock in the Seattle area. He added that he wouldn’t be surprised if the average period increased even further in future.

The shortest average homeownership period of 6.51 years was recorded in Oklahoma City. Detroit came next with 7.08 years, followed by Austin, Texas, with 7.11 years; Denver, Colorado, with 7.2 years; and Tulsa, Oklahoma with 7.23 years.

Owners aren’t staying in their homes longer in every part of the nation, however. The following cities recorded a drop in home ownership tenure: Portland, Oregon (-1%); Cincinnati, Ohio (-1%); Salt Lake City, Utah (-1%); Dayton, Ohio (-1%); and Honolulu, Hawaii (-2%).

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