A new Redfin report found homeowners are staying in their homes twice as long as they did in 2005, driven largely by older Americans.

SEATTLE— Baby boomers and Gen Xers, more than other generations, are staying in their homes up to 20 years, far exceeding the typical 11.9 years most U.S. homeowners occupy their residences.

A new report from Redfin showed nearly 40% of baby boomers have lived in the home they currently own for at least 20 years, and another 16% for 10-19 years. More than one-third (35%) of Gen Xers have lived in the home they currently own for at least 10 years.

In contrast, less than 7% of millennials have lived in the home they currently own for a decade or longer, 13% for 5 to 9 years and 30% for less than five years. Nearly all Gen Zers who own a home have had it for less than five years, which stands to reason because the oldest Gen Zer was 26 in 2023.

The reason, according to Redfin:

  • The American population is aging: Roughly 17% of people in the U.S. were 65 and older as of 2020, up from 13% in 2010.
  • Older Americans are the most likely to own homes: Nearly 80% of baby boomers and 72% of Gen Xers own their home, compared to 55% of millennials and 26% of Gen Zers.
  • Millennials move more because they’re younger and switch jobs more than older generations.

Redfin said the 11.9-year average that American homeowners spend in their homes is up from 6.5 years two decades ago. Homeowner tenure peaked at 13.4 years in 2020, just when the pandemic set off a moving frenzy, and has declined since then, Redfin said.

Other reasons homeowner tenure has increased since the early 2000s:

  • Nearly all baby boomers with mortgages have a much lower rate than if they sold and bought new with today’s 7%-ish rates.
  • Some state tax systems have policies that make it financially beneficial for people to stay in their homes as they get older.
  • Many older Americans prefer living in their family home rather than moving to a different house or entering an assisted-living facility.
  • It was cheap and easy to move in the early 2000s because of the larger inventory and looser mortgage-lending standards.

Redfin said homeowner tenure should stay flat or increase slightly in the near future.

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Author: amyc