Different Generations and How We Buy and Sell Real Estate
We are seeing a span of about 5 generations from the Silent to GEN-X and everywhere in between, buying, saving, and spending. Trends come and go but the general trend of each generation is relatively the same. Each gleans experience from a different era displaying that in the way we buy and sell products including real estate.
What does this have to do with us today? It helps us understand our clients, customers, friends and co-workers and how they relate to this thing called “real estate”.
The Silent Generation -
These are homebuyers or sellers ages 68 - 88 and make up about 9% of homebuyers and 16% of home sellers. More than likely, they're going to be a repeat buyer at this time in their life and they may have purchased a multigenerational home. Children over the age of 18 may be moving back into the home, they might be considering cost savings or they might be moving closer to friends and family. Comfort, affordability and a convenient layout are often key requirements to home buying. This generation is more concerned about downsizing and making life simpler rather than building on life and making it more complicated. Patience, kindness, simplicity, and peace of mind is often the best way to approach this type of home buyer or seller.
Baby boomers are easily split into two different categories; younger boomers and older boomers.
Older boomers are typically ages 59 to 67 and they make up about 14% of home buyers. Just over 21% purchase a new home simply to avoid renovations or problems with electricity, plumbing, siding or roofs. Convenience, close proximity to shopping, markets, family and friends is often one of the biggest reasons this generation buys and sells. 27% own more than one home including investment properties and vacation homes and plan to live in their home for about 20 years. Also, this generation may move to different area altogether, usually to be closer to grandkids and other family members. Downsizing, square footage, and the price of the home are some of the biggest concerns to this generation. Listening to their concerns, requirements and needs are often some of the biggest requirements of this generation.
Younger boomers are ages 49 to 58 and make up about 16% of homebuyers. An interesting statistic is that 33% of younger boomers are single females or males. This could be after a divorce, death, or they simply have never gotten married at all. 22% of younger boomers purchase multi generational homes for children moving back into the home, cost savings or taking care of elderly parents. This generation makes up 21% of recent home sellers and they mainly are moving due to job relocation, downsizing, or a more desirable neighborhood. 10% of home sellers in this generation had to either put their home sale on hold or not sell at all due to their home being worse less than their mortgage payment. Finding unique financing situations, relocation scenarios and programs that meet their needs today are some of the best ways to reach this generation for buying and selling.
Generation X -
These are homebuyers between the ages of 34 and 48 and offer some of the largest home buyers and home sellers on the market at nearly 30%. These are also some of the highest income earners and the largest share of married couples. Most have children under the age of 18 in the home and their desire to buy is based on a larger home, job-related location neighborhood influencers, school districts and quality of life. Most of these homeowners plan to live in their home for about 15 years and nearly 20% had to pause their home sale because the property was worth less than their mortgage. Their children's safety, thinking about investments for long-term growth and convenience of lifestyle in a hectic world is often the biggest concerns for this generation.
Generation Y -
These are those home buyers and sellers ages 33 and younger and they make up the largest share of home buyers at over 31% and the smallest share of home sellers at just 12%. 76% are first-time homebuyers and the main reason for buying is simply the desire to be a homeowner. These home buyers are looking for the quality of their neighborhood and convenience to their job. These folks plan to live in their home for about 10 years and 74% say the biggest benefit from a real estate agent is helping them understand the process. Student loan debts, credit card debts, car loans and other debts are some of the biggest problems holding them back from saving for a down payment. However, nearly all believe that their home is a good financial investment. Explaining the situation and the process is simply listening to their needs rather than telling them what they want is some of the biggest factors for this generation.