Why more people in Southern California aren’t selling their homes – Orange County Register

After two years of searching fruitlessly for a new home, Jacob and Brianna Gerber decided instead to remodel their Rossmoor house of six years and stay put.

They moved their garage, gutted and rebuilt their home’s interior and expanded the backyard living area. They added a spa, enlarged the master bedroom and installed a new sound system.

“I was always on Redfin. Was there a good trade-off to move to? There was nothing out there,” said Brianna Gerber, 37. “(We decided), ‘let’s build our dream home the way we wanted it with all the touches that we wanted in the location we wanted.’ ”

The Orange County family is part of a growing trend in which homeowners are staying put longer and longer.

Southern Californians selling their homes this past spring had owned them for an average of 9.4 years, according to Attom Data Solutions, an Irvine-based housing research firm. By comparison, the average ownership tenure in the spring of 2008 was 4.6 years, or half as long.

Reasons are varied. They include changing demographics, possible tax consequences, rising mortgage rates and difficulty finding the next home, experts say.

The trend is not inconsequential.

Staying put longer can stymie economic growth while stifling business for those who depend on…

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