Rising home values, affordable prices, pent up demand and fewer households underwater on there are motivating more American families to move more often. The average home buyer is expected to stay in a home only 13 years, down from a peak of 20 years in 2009.
Based on a long-run calculation that averages mobility tendencies over a number of years, the typical buyer of a single-family home-including first-time buyers as well as move up buyers- can be expected to stay in the home is now approximately 13 years, according to recent article published by the National Association of Home Builders.
The NAHB work updates a previous article that used data from the American Housing Survey (funded by the Department of Housing and Urban Development and conducted in odd-numbered years by the Census Bureau) through 2007. The new study incorporates AHS data through 2011.
The mobility tendencies observed in the 2011 data imply that the expected length of stay in an owner-occupied, single-family home would be about 16 years (the time it would take half of single-family buyers to move out). However, 2011 is likely to be an atypical year, so the article repeats the analysis using mobility tendencies observable in earlier years, with results as shown in the figure below.
If a single estimate is needed for how long buyers who move in today or in the near future can be expected to remain in their homes, the article recommends 13 years, based on the rounded average across all data points.
The article also shows that, over the 1987-2011 period, the expected length of stay in a single-family home has been consistently longer for trade-up buyers than for first-time buyers. Averaged over those years, the expected length of stay in a single-family home is about 11 and a half years for first-time buyers, compared to 15 years for buyers who have owned a home before.
The National Association of Realtors reported that the average tenure is still nine years in its recent 2012 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, up from six years before the housing crash in 2007, but the average buyers expectation is to live in theuir new home 15 years.