Social Benefits of Homeownership

Over the years, research has consistently shown the importance of the housing sector to the economy as well as the long-term social and financial benefits of homeownership to individual homeowners. NAR (National Association of Realtors) Research recently released a report on The Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing.

Homeownership and stable housing go hand-in-hand. Homeowners move far less frequently than renters, and hence are embedded into the same neighborhood and community for a longer period. According to the the Current Population Survey's report, Geographical Mobility 2008-2009, while 5.2 percent of owner-occupied residents moved from 2008 to 2009, nearly 30 percent of renters changed residential location.

The key reason for the higher “mover rate” among renters is the fact that renters are younger – that is, changing and searching for ideal jobs, not yet married, and hence, literally, less committed. The mover rate or percentage of people changing residence, among 20-to-24 year-olds was 27 percent, and for 25-to-29 year-olds it was 26 percent. The mover rate then declines rapidly from 14 percent for those in their early 30s to less than 5 percent for those 65 years or older.

As to why people move, the predominant reason given by Current Population Survey respondents in 2009 was housing-related. Almost one-third said they moved to a better home, a better neighborhood, or into cheaper housing. The second most popular reason cited was family-related at 26.3 percent. Work-related reasons (new job, lost job, easier commute, retired, etc.) were reported by only 17.9 percent of respondents. Very few indicated change of climate and health reasons for moving.

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