Americans Staying in Homes Longer, Creating Shortage & Higher Prices

New York, NY, January 21, 2021-Americans are staying in their homes longer, leading to a shortage of homes for sale and pushing prices sky-ward, reports the Wall Street Journal.

“The typical homeowner in 2020 had remained in place for 13 years, up slightly from 12.8 years in 2019 and well ahead of 2010’s reading of 8.7 years, according to a new analysis by real-estate brokerage Redfin Corp. About one in four U.S. homeowners has lived in the same home for more than 20 years, the study showed.

“Home sales soared last year, reaching their highest level in 14 years, as the coronavirus pandemic sent many Americans looking for a larger home where they could work remotely more easily.  That was one reason why the median length of homeownership leveled off last year.

“But concerns about Covid-19 had the opposite effect among potential sellers. A fear of strangers entering their houses during the pandemic prompted some people to cancel or delay their plans to list their homes, real-estate agents say.

“Those thinking of selling have also been reluctant to act for other reasons, from concerns about finding a new house in a competitive market to ultralow interest rates that make it appealing to refinance and stay put.

“Homeowners staying in their residences longer is contributing to the worsening shortage of homes on the market. The 1.28 million homes for sale at the end of November was down 22% from November 2019, according to the National Association of Realtors, and inventory sits near its lowest level in decades. At the current sales pace, there was a record-low 2.3-month supply of homes on the market at the end of November.”