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Where do people stay in their homes the most?

by SuperiorInvest

As if it weren't difficult enough to find a home to buy today, a new study reveals that more than a third of all American homeowners plan to stay in their current homes forever.

This Old House researchers analyzed data from the American Community Survey and the U.S. Census Bureau to find which states and cities had the longest tenure of homeownership. They also surveyed 1,008 homeowners about their future life plans.

Among states, long-term tenancy peaked in Hawaii, where 36 percent of homeowners have been under the same roof for 24 years or more. New York was next, with about 35 percent of homeowners staying over the same period. Do high home prices in both states have anything to do with it? It's possible: If you've been in a high-value home for a long time, you're more likely to have lower housing costs now because you bought at a lower price. You may have even paid off your mortgage and probably don't want to start over at current rates.

On the other hand, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, generally less expensive states, had similar housing durations. The metropolitan area with the longest housing tenure was Johnstown, Pennsylvania, where about half of homeowners have owned their home for 24 years or more.

Arizona, Nevada and Florida topped the list of short-tenure states, defined as those with the highest proportion of homeowners who have owned their homes for five years or less. Retirees, known for moving during their golden years, could be driving this result. All three states are popular havens for retirees that don't tax Social Security payments. Metropolitanly, Jacksonville, North Carolina, had the highest proportion of short-term homeowners: About half of homeowners have owned for five years or less.

The most important factor determining home tenure may simply be age. Older people tend to have lived in their homes longer and are more likely to plan to stay there, according to the survey portion of the study: 54 percent of baby boomers indicated they expected to stay in their current homes forever. From there, the percentages decreased in clear generational order: 38 percent of Generation X, 33 percent of millennials and 14 percent of Generation Z declared that they never wanted to move.

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