Home Seller Tenure: Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers 2001-2013

How Long Between Purchase and Sale of Americans’ Homes

When I was in real estate school — well over a decade ago now, the school’s owner used to remind us frequently that homes in Arizona turned over more quickly than anyplace else in the country. On average, people owned their Arizona homes for 3 years and then moved on. Meanwhile, the national average was about six years.

During the Great Recession, the national average home tenure has increased to nine years. That’s kind of surprising given the drama around foreclosures which threw people out of new homes they had only recently purchased in subdivisions throughout Arizona and Nevada.

According to surveys from the National Association of Realtors® the sellers who waited an average of nine years to sell really had wanted to sell after six years but were delayed because they owed more on their homes than the homes were worth. After three years of waiting, on average, they could sell and move on to their next home. About one in five sellers in recent years have been in this situation.

On the other side of the recession impact, as home prices and interest rates dropped, first-time buyers were able to buy “more home” than they had in the past. This meant that they did not need to move-up to a larger home as quickly as they have in the past, increasing their tenure in their homes. Interestingly, over the same time period the age of first-time home buyers did not change, staying within a range of 30 to 32 years old.

There are many great buying opportunities among Flagstaff homes right now. And interest rates actually fell last week. (They are hovering below 4.5% for a 30-year mortgage.) See our featured Flagstaff listings here. Search for all homes for sale in Flagstaff with this link.

Research article from National Association of Realtors® Economists’ Blog: Increase in Tenure in Home: Due to Increased Buying Power?