How Long Are Americans Staying in Their Homes?

January 9, 2020
Couple Moving
Happy young couple unpacking or packing boxes and moving into a new home By lenets_tan - Adobe Stock

Americans are staying in their homes longer than before: In ten years, the median duration of homeownership increased by three years. But exactly how long the average homeowner stays varies by region. East Coasters are more likely to hold onto their houses—residents in Scranton, Pennsylvania, average a whopping 18 years—while people in western cities such as Provo, Utah, are out by seven. See how long homeowners in your area are staying. 

As of 2018, the median duration of homeownership in the U.S. is 13 years1. Compared to previous years, homeowners opt to spend more time holding onto their residences. Median tenure has increased by 3 years since 2008.

Nevertheless, homeownership duration varies from area to area. Homeowners in some metro areas move more frequently than homeowners in the rest of the country. To begin our analysis, we looked at the median years of residence for owner-occupied homes located in the 100 largest U.S. metro areas. The American Community Survey provides estimates about the median year that owners moved into their homes. As data shows, homeownership duration varies from 6 to 18 years in the 100 largest metro areas. In more than half of these metro areas, homeowners spend less time holding onto their primary residences than the typical homeowner across the country. 

Specifically, homeowners in the following areas typically stay up to 8 years in their homes:

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