Want to Know Why the Housing Market Is so Competitive? Look at This One Metric.
A new report sheds light on one factor that’s fueling the national housing-supply crunch. The takeaway: Homeowners aren’t moving as often as they used to.
As of 2021, the typical homeowner has spent 13.2 years in their house, according to the report. That’s up significantly from a decade ago. Back in 2012, the average homeowner tenure was only 10.1 years. The longest tenure rate in the country is Quebec, where homeowners will live in a property for 18.1 years on average.
The good news for buyers is that the length of time spent in homes did drop slightly between 2020 and 2021. A year earlier, the average homeowner had been in their home for 13.5 years.
“Homeowner tenure may have already peaked, or the decline in 2021 could be a blip before it climbs back up, says Kenny Langburt of ReMax du Cartier in Outremont.
The drop in tenure reflects the sheer breadth of the migration shifts that have occurred as a result of the pandemic. Faced with the sudden ability to work from home, many Canadians sought to move to larger and cheaper homes in less densely populated parts of the country.
“The migration trend is encouraging for supply because more people moving typically means more people selling their homes” . “Adding supply will help the housing market keep up with demand and start relieving buyers from heated competition and rapidly rising prices.”
Other trends, though, may counteract the potential benefits of the pandemic-fueled interest in migration. Rising mortgage rates may prompt some families, who would otherwise buy a new home and sell their current one, to stay put. That’s because the higher interest payments might begin to counteract the savings they could see from moving to a cheaper area.
Plus, homeowners on average are getting older—a trend that predates Covid-19. The report found that 33% of households nationwide were headed by someone who was 65 years or older in 2019, up from 28% in 2012. Research has suggested more Quebecers are opting to age in place, rather than sell the family home and relocate to a smaller property or retirement communities.
Kenny Langburt is a licensed Commercial & residential real estate broker in Montreal.