NAHB regularly conducts national polls of American adults and home buyers in order to understand new trends and preferences in the housing market. This is the fifth in a series of posts highlighting poll results, as presented during the 2018 International Builders’ Show in Orlando, FL. See previous posts on tiny homes, driverless cars, time searching for a home, and essential features.
Currently, one of the most pressing issues in the housing market is the lack of inventory available for-sale. Part of the problem stems from the fact that existing homeowners are staying in their homes longer than they used to, and therefore keeping their homes off-the-market. A recent poll asked people living in their homes for 10 years or longer the reasons they have chosen to stay put for so long.
By far, the most important reason long-term residents aren’t moving is because they like their home and are comfortable in it (70%), followed by their lack of desire to go through the hassle/expense of finding another home and moving (21%). Meanwhile, 10% say it’s because there are no homes on the market they would want to buy and could afford. This last finding suggests that a not-so-trivial 10% of people living in their homes for a decade or more could be enticed to move if only there were more homes on the market to choose from.
Of all the possible reasons long-term residents could choose from to explain their long stay, the three least important ones are: not wanting to give up a current low mortgage interest rate (5%), moving to a new job would require going to a more expensive area (4%), and the home is underwater (3%). This suggests that a desire to keep a low mortgage rate is far from being the primary culprit for the reduced mobility seen in recent years (as is sometimes attributed).