CAR Predicts Buyers Will Remain in Homes 20 Years

The results of the California Association of Realtors “2015 Survey of California Home Buyers” predicts a shift toward buying patterns more common before the market meltdown during the middle of the last decade. People who lost a home in the Great Recession are looking to buy again and both younger wage earners who are forming households and other buyers say they plan to live in their homes longer than in previous years, according to the annual CAR survey.

But it also shows that today’s buyers plan to be nesters rather than getting into the move-up mindset common in earlier years.

For example, today’s buyers plan to live in their homes an average of 20 years, more than three times longer than the six years cited by respondents in the 2013 survey, the association said.

The findings are somewhat surprising because the average length of ownership has been in the single digits for years, said Leslie Appleton-Young, the association’s vice president and chief economist.

And this fact may go a long way to solving the mystery of why there has not been a supply response to what Realtors and others say is strong buyer demand.

It also reflects the fact that the rising home prices are causing affordability problems across a broader spectrum of the market and not just an obstacle for people getting into a first home.

This year 12 percent of buyers, the biggest share yet, previously had lived with their parents, up from 2 percent a year ago, the survey found.

“It’s good that we are seeing a jump in household formation,” said Robert Kleinhenz, Chief Economist at the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp.

The survey was conducted by telephone calls and emails to nearly 1,300 people statewide. All eligible respondents closed escrow on their homes between February 2014 and February 2015.

You can read the full survey here: