Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Primary Reason for Selling Previous Home

This blog post was written by Brian Horowitz, Research Survey Analyst. 

In 2005, the question “primary reason for selling previous home” was added to the Home Buyer and Seller survey.  Historically, the results have unfluctuating results with a few slight changes since the recession.

  • Throughout the survey’s history the response “home is too small” is the largest reason that people move; however, since 2011 the percent of respondents has hovered within the mid-teens.
  • In 2009, the second most common reason to move, “job relocation”, decreased and has since remained level. In 2008, it peaked to a rate of 22% and in 2015 it was reported to be at 14%.
  • “Move to avoid foreclosure” was added to the survey in 2011, and reached its peak that year at 8%. The following year the percent of respondents drastically decreased to 1%.
  • Interestingly, “moving due to retirement” has slightly increased from 3% in 2005 to 7% in 2015.  There is also a small amount of growth in desire to be closer to friends and family, which could be a result of retirement, as well.

selling home

Notice: The information on this page may not be current. The archive is a collection of content previously published on one or more NAR web properties. Archive pages are not updated and may no longer be accurate. Users must independently verify the accuracy and currency of the information found here. The National Association of REALTORS® disclaims all liability for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information or data found on this page.