Softer home prices spark a change in homeownership tenure

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Homeownership tenure took a dip at the start of the year as the housing market cooled off, according to Attom Data Solutions. And while improved affordability helps, consumers are still staying put for nearly twice as long as they were before the crisis.

Home sellers gained an average of $57,500 in the first quarter, which represents an average return of 31.5% of the purchase price, according to Attom. The average increase in the sales price is down from $60,000 in 4Q18.

As the growth rate for property prices decelerated, homeownership tenure ticked down to 8.05 years in the first quarter from the record high of 8.17 years hit in the prior quarter. This is still up from a year ago, when homeownership tenure for the quarter was 7.75 years.

"We are starting to see homes sales prices and profit margins softening for the nation, and the average homeownership tenure did see a slight dip from last quarter," Todd Teta, chief product officer at Attom, said in a press release.

"However, home prices are still above prerecession peaks in 59% of local markets, and as the buying season starts to kick into gear, the next few months may provide even more answers to the question of whether a lasso is indeed around the market or if the recent trend is a temporary bump in the ride," Teta continued.

Prior to the Great Recession, the typical homeowner stayed put for an average of 4.21 years between the first quarter of 2000 and the third quarter of 2007.

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Home prices Housing market Purchase Housing affordability Attom Data Solutions