High prices, stiff competition, and lack of inventory are exacerbating the Bay Area’s housing problem. Besides the dearth of new construction, one of the factors contributing to the housing shortfall is the fact that longtime California homeowners — namely, Baby Boomers — aren’t moving as much as they used to, according to recent data supplied by the California Association of REALTORS®.
The length of time that an owner stays in a residence before selling is at an all-time high of ten years. Around 2005, it was about half that amount. Seventy-one percent of Californians aged 55 and over haven’t moved since 1999; instead, they’re remodeling. (Remodeling rates were at an all-time high last year.)
Part of the reason is that these Boomers can’t afford to move because they fail to qualify for a mortgage. Thanks to Prop 13, they’re also enjoying very low property taxes. Although most Baby Boomers have equity in their home (92%), 64% say they don’t plan to move when they retire, according to C.A.R.’s 2016 Baby Boomer survey.