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Homeowners Are On the Move Again… Statistics Prove It!

February 11, 2013

Have you ever heard that the average single-family homeowner will stay in a home about 7 years before moving on?  Wherever that number originally came from, it’s not true any longer.  People are generally staying in their homes longer, and when they do move, their reasons vary depending on the stage of life they are in.

From Loan Officer Shellie Sexton

From Loan Officer Shellie Sexton

Length of Time in Home Now 13 Years

From 1987 to 2005, the housing market was stable, and so the length of time people stayed in their homes was stable, too – around 12 years on average. In 2005, at the peak of real estate activity, people were quicker to move, and the average dropped to 10 years. In 2009, in contrast, when real estate activity basically stopped, the length of time became 20 years!

Today, based on recent data from the 2011 American Housing Survey funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development, the length of time that homeowners are living in their home has dropped again to 13 years. That’s good news!

Who is Moving and Why?

According to a homeowner profile from, the top two reasons homebuyers are moving are: job relocation and the need for a larger home.

However, when you look at the results by age group, there are some revealing trends. Of those aged 45-54, 13% are moving to avoid a foreclosure, the most of any age group in the study. And homeowners who are over 55 years cite the main reason as a desire to be closer to their families.

So what does this valuable information tell us?

First, even though the length of time homeowners are staying in their homes is still longer than it was before the housing crisis, it’s getting much better and homeowners are becoming more active in buying and selling again.

Second, not all homeowners are the same – and in fact, their motivations for moving are often completely different, depending on their age and stage of life. Therefore, you need to be ready to market to different customers and different markets in a way that’s relevant to them.

About the research: NAHB used data from the 2011 American Housing Survey.

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