How Long Are People Staying in Their Single-Family Residences?

Our next podcast discussing changes in real estate!

Today Marcia and I shift focus to current trends and explain how long people are tending to stay in their single-family residences.

René Nelson, Eugene commercial real estate broker
Marcia Edwards, Eugene residential real estate broker

Legislative Changes in Real Estate – Part 5

Marcia Edwards: Well, I find it really interesting right now. Of course, we’re 56% down in inventory from this time last year, so we have a supply-side problem. People are asking, “What’s next? How do I navigate?” People are seeing a little more certainty in their employment and a little more predictability in our COVID crisis, and so with that and in the rearview mirror or closer to it, they’re trying to find a way to acclimate.

René Nelson: You mentioned the supply-side concern. How long are people staying in their houses right now? What are you seeing for sellers that are looking to sell? Are most people downsizing and going into smaller, or what’s the motivation?

Marcia Edwards: Well, people are actually putting off the move, and that’s part of our challenge here. Is back just in 2008, it was predictable that someone would live in their home on average for six years, national trends, now they’re at 10 years nationally. Just what is that? 14 years later, 12 years later. That’s fascinating to me that everyone’s kinda put pause on the sale.

René Nelson: And tell me the reasons why. What’s the top three or four reasons?

Marcia Edwards: One of the reasons is there’s no urgency, so they see that they could downsize, their kids are gone, they’re probably not coming back, and so you’ve got a situation where you’ve got extra housing that you’re cleaning, that you’re maintaining, and that you’re heating and you don’t really think that you have to do something today.

René Nelson: Okay. And if I wanted to sell, my motivation, let’s say I want to downsize, can I find something in the market?

Marcia Edwards: Not in this market, but I don’t think that’s why we’re at 10 years of staying in the home. I think that’s more of a lifestyle shift, it’s more of a hesitancy and a pause that has happened over the last four years. So what we’ve got now is we’ve got a market where people are renovating and aging in place and really trying to make it a long-term commitment to their house.

René Nelson: Okay. And how has COVID made an impact on people wanting to move?

Marcia Edwards: There are about three reasons that owners don’t put their house on the market, at least during COVID. One is financial uncertainty. When you’re financially uncertain, you start putting the dollar bills in the mattress, and you do not try to take a risk. And then second is health concerns. Some people are concerned that they’d be vulnerable in the transition, others are vulnerable, or are going through something as a family. And then just generally, 34% of Americans felt that life is just too uncertain to move. Now, as we create certainty, we should see some things come into motion.

René Nelson: Are you seeing more properties come on the market?

Marcia Edwards: They’re just turning a corner now. Hopefully we’ll have some relief.

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