Average Length of Homeownership

Last Updated: November 12, 2021

Highlights. The average length of homeownership is 16 years, with lower-earning and less educated householders more likely to remain in their homes longer.

  • 42.3% of homeowners have lived in their current home for less than 10 years.
  • 8.6% of homeowners have lived in their home for 40 years or more.
  • Among homeowners of 40 years or more, 93.0% live in single-family homes.
  • An estimated* 29% of long-term homeowners were among the first to live in their homes, moving in within 5 years of construction.
  • Homeowners who sold their homes in the second financial quarter of 2022 had an average tenure of 5.87 years.

*Insufficient construction data for homeowners with a tenure of more than 40 years.

Doughnut Chart: Length of Homeownership among all current homeowners

Homeowner Tenure
Years Since Move-in Share of Homeowning Households† Average Household Income
0 – 3 21.9% $115,000
4 – 9 20.4% $113,700
10 – 14 13.4% $103,400
15 – 19 11.9% $103,500
20 – 24 9.9% $92,480
25 – 29 6.2% $88,780
30 – 34 4.8% $83,750
35 – 39 3.1% $67,660
40 or more 8.6% $53,400

May total more than 100% due to rounding.

Current Average Length of Homeownership

Homeowners are most likely to remain in detached, single-story, single-family homes for more than a decade.

  • The average duration of homeownership is 16 years.
  • Among homeowners who sold their homes in the second financial quarter of 2022, the average tenure was 5.87 years or 5 years, 10 months, and 13 days.
  • 21.9% of homeowners moved into their home within the last 3 years.
  • 81% of them live in detached, single-family homes.
  • 8.6% of homeowners have lived in their home for 40 years or more.
  • 89.1% of them live in single-family homes.
  • The most popular year of construction among homeowners is from 1970 to 1979.
  • Regardless of tenure, 14.1% of homeowners live in homes built in the 1970s.
  • 12.5% of homeowners who moved in within the last 3 years own homes built in the 1970s.
  • Among all homeowners who moved in within the last 3 years, 31.6% live in single-story homes.
  • 40.0% of homeowners who have lived in their homes for 40 years or more live in single-story homes.
  • 37.1% of homeowners who moved in the last 3 years live in two-story homes.
  • 33.8% of homeowners who have lived in their homes for 40 years or more live in two-story structures.
  • 0.6% of homeowners who have lived in their homes for 40 years or longer live in multi-story structures with at least 50 units.
Time Between Construction & Move-In
Years Since Move-In Home Built Within 5 Years of Move-In Home Constructed From 1970 to 1979
0 – 3 13.1% 12.5%
4 – 9 14.1% 11.9%
10 – 14 26.0% 11.0%
15 – 19 28.5% 11.9%
20 – 24 30.8% 13.2%
25 – 29 27.2% 15.3%
30 – 34 29.8% 16.5%
35 – 39 29.9% 23.5%
40 or more Insufficient Data 27.5%

Homeowner Characteristics & Length of Homeownership

Long-term homeowners are more likely to have lower incomes and less formal education.

  • Homeowners who moved in the last 3 years have a household income 15.3% higher than the average homeowning household.
  • Homeowners who have lived in their homes for 40 years or more have an average income that is 46.5% lower than the average homeowning household.
  • Homeowners in general have an average income that is 47.7% higher than the national median household income.
  • Among homeowners, 91.7% have at least a high school degree or equivalent; 40.1% have at least a bachelor’s degree.
  • 42.9% of homeowners who moved in within the last 3 years have a bachelor’s degree or higher; 5.7% are not high school graduates (or equivalent).
  • Among homeowners who have remained in their homes for 40 years or more, 23.4% have a bachelor’s degree or higher, while at least 14.3% never graduated high school.
Homeowner Education Attainment & Length of Homeownership
Years Since Move-In High School or Equivalent Bachelor’s Degree
0 – 3 21.9% 29.0%
4 – 9 23.1% 26.9%
10 – 14 24.7% 25.2%
15 – 19 26.5% 22.9%
20 – 24 30.0% 22.0%
25 – 29 28.7% 22.0%
30 – 34 31.0% 20.0%
35 – 39 31.7% 17.0%
40 or more 31.2% 15.3%

Doughnut Chart: Length of Homeownership Among Unmarried Homeowning Couples, 25.05% 0-3 years, 16.15% 4-9 years, 13.46% 10-14 years, 9.73% 15-19 years, 9.73% 20-24 Years, 6.63% 25-29 years, 5.59% 30-34 years, 7.04% 35-39 years, and 6.63% 40+ years

Household Characteristics & Length of Homeownership

Long-term homeowning households are most likely to be a married couple with no nonrelatives present while single long-term homeowners are most likely to be female.

  • Among homeowners who moved within the last 3 years, 81.0% have households of 2 or more.
  • Among these, 74.6% are married couples with no nonrelative present.
  • 61.3% of homeowners who have lived in their home for 40 years or more include households of 2 or more.
  • Among these households, 78.2% have no more than 2 members.
  • 33.8% of homeowners who moved within the last 3 years have households of 3 or 4.
  • 11.8% of these homeowners live in households of 5 or more.
  • 11.2% of homeowners who have lived in their home for 40 years or more have 3- to 4-person households.
  • An estimated 2.0% of these homeowners live in households of 5 or more.
  • Households of 3 or more are most likely to remain in their homes for less than 10 years.
  • 47.3% of single homeowners who moved in the last 3 years are female.
  • 66.7% of single homeowners who have lived in their homes for 40 years or more are female.
Householder Marital Status & Length of Homeownership
Years Since Move-In Married Single Female
0 – 3 60.4% 9.0%
4 – 9 61.9% 9.9%
10 – 14 62.3% 10.4%
15 – 19 64.2% 11.1%
20 – 24 62.3% 13.4%
25 – 29 61.0% 15.2%
30 – 34 56.8% 18.2%
35 – 39 58.1% 18.4%
40 or more 44.7% 25.8%

Sources

  1. U.S. Census Bureau, American Housing Survey
  2. Federal Reserve Economic Data, Real Median Household Income in the United States
  3. ATTOM Data Solutions, Sellar Profits Increase Across U.S. in Third Quarter as National Median Home Price Reaches Another Record