Comments on economics, mystery fiction, drama, and art.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Home turnover and home values

There's an article in the New York Times today, chronicling the ups and downs of the price of a single home in Bowie, Maryland. I guess this is supposed to be somehow emblematic of the housing bubble, collapse, and recovery, but it's odd. According to the story, the home is on its fifth or sixth owner (which is not so odd), but it was built in 1990. So in 24 years, it's had 6 owners, or an average of one owner every 4 years. Which is odd. That kind of turnover is quite high; according to a National Association of Homebuilders study, the median duration of homeownership is between 10 and 14 years (depending on how it's measured); the homes sold in four years or less account for less than 25% of all homes, about the same as the percentage of home in which the owner has lived for 18+ years. Perhaps the moral is that homes that are often flipped have unstable values...


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