How Long We Stay – and How it's Changed

How long have you been in your home? Did you plan on staying for a bit and find that years have gone by? Us too! You are not alone. In fact, people are staying put for longer, especially in Seattle. What’s your Homeowner Tenure and how badly are you looking for a change?

Homeowner tenure, the average amount of time homeowners live in their home, has increased dramatically over the last ten years. In 2008 and during the recession, people began staying in their homes longer. Prior to the housing crisis, that tenure was about five years. It increased to seven years between 2008 and 2016. In the last two years, partially owing to the inventory crisis and rising interest rates, according to a new study by First American, home tenure has grown to an amazing ten years.

Although it may not seem like much of a change, this trend has shifted quickly and it has big implications for our inventory issues. Why are people staying in their homes longer?

·       Mortgage rates – Years of low interest rates have homeowners not wanting to trade in their historically-low mortgage rate for today’s rates.

·       Lack of supply – Homeowners not wanting to compete for the lack of homes in the market, worsen the problem by staying in their homes.

·       Tighter Credit Standards – Credit is not as lenient as it has been, and some homeowners may be concerned about qualifying for a new mortgage under these tougher lending standards.

According to the National Association of REALTORS® 2018 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, buyers who bought a home last year expected to be in the home 15 years. In Seattle, we are opting to remodel, make do, or turn our homes into investment properties.

So, if you are itching to move, you are not alone. There are so many options and work-arounds if you are considering making a chance. Let’s talk out a customized plan so you can stay, or go.