Equity building and lack of affordability keep homeowners in place

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Inventory shortages, favorable tax policies and a dearth of affordable options caused homeowners to increase the number of years lived in their home, according to a Redfin report.

The typical homeowner in 2019 remained in their house for 13 years, up from eight years in 2010. Residents of Salt Lake City have the longest occupancy of any market, with owners staying put for 23.4 years.

Metro areas in Texas accounted for the next five areas where homeowners had the longest habitation periods. Houston, Fort Worth, San Antonio, Dallas and Austin had median home tenures between 18.4 and 23.2 years. Some of that can be attributed to senior citizens in the Lone Star State having the ability to defer property taxes until selling their home.

"In Dallas, there are many neighborhoods that were built in the 1950s and 1960s where most of today's residents are still the original homeowners," local Redfin agent Christopher Dillard said in a press release. "Because prices have been going up, and folks are gaining more and more equity, it's hard to justify selling when there aren't many if any affordable options."

While the years spent in one house increased over the last decade, this phenomenon is nothing new. Baby boomers made their intention to age in place clear. Those intentions have the double-edged sword of reducing the amount of properties for sale, which in turn causes prices to rise. Older borrowers remaining in their homes keeps about 15% of houses off the market. Some of these potential sellers are stuck in a vicious cycle.

"I have a client right now in West Valley who wants to move into the city in a more walkable, higher-priced neighborhood," said Salt Lake City Redfin agent Daniel Lopez. "They would need to sell to buy, but are worried about making a competitive offer when they still need to sell their current home. I rarely see offers with home sale contingencies accepted in Salt Lake City because the market is competitive."

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