The National Association of Realtor’s, has released its Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report for 2015.

Some Of The Highlights

Characteristics of Home Buyers

  • Gen Y comprises the largest share of home buyers at 32 percent, which is larger than all Baby Boomers combined. Younger Boomers comprise 16 percent and Older Boomers comprise 15 percent of recent home buyers. Generation X made up 27 percent of recent buyers and the Silent Generation has the smallest share of home buyers at 10 percent.

  • While the demographics of recent buyers fall mostly in the expected range, income peaks for ages 35 to 59, and the prevalence of children in the home peaks for buyers 35 to 49.

  • Gen Y has the largest share of first-time buyers at 68 percent. The share of first-time buyer’s declines as age increases. Among the Silent Generation only three percent of buyers are first-time buyers.

  • Thirteen percent of all buyers purchased a multi-generational home, one in which the home consists of adult children over the age of 18, and/or grandparents residing in the home. This is most prevalent among Younger Boomers aged 50 to 59, at 21 percent. The most common reason for this living arrangement among Younger Boomers was children over 18 moving back into the house (37 percent), followed by health/caretaking of aging parents (21 percent).

  • The prior living arrangement varies greatly for recent home buyers. Among those who are 33 and younger, 59 percent rented an apartment, while among those who are older than 50 years of age and older more than half owned their previous residence.

  • Thirty-nine percent of Gen Y buyers primarily purchased a home just for the desire to own a home of their own. Gen X placed a high importance on owning a home of their own, but many needed to move for a change in a family situation or a job-related relocation. Older Boomers are more likely to move for retirement, the desire to be closer to friends, family, and relatives, and the desire for a smaller home, while Younger Boomers are likely to move for a job-related relocation and to downsize.

  • As age increases among recent home buyers, the rate of owning more than one home also increases.


Characteristics of Homes Purchased

  • At least 80 percent of buyers who are aged 59 and younger bought a detached single-family home, while it is increasingly common for buyers over the age of 59 to purchase townhouses and condos.

  • Thirteen percent of buyers over the age of 49 purchased a home in senior-related housing for themselves or others. This is most common for buyers over the age of 69, a category in which nearly one-quarter of buyers purchased a home in senior-related housing.

  • Gen Y and Gen X tend to stay close to their previous residence, often staying within 10 miles, while Older Boomers tend to move the longest distance 30 miles and the Silent Generation tend to move 20 miles from their previous home.

  • Younger buyers tend to buy older homes, and are more likely to buy previously owned homes. Most often they do so because the home is a better price and better overall value. Older Boomers and the Silent Generation are more likely than other generations to purchase a new home, most often doing so to avoid renovations or problems with plumbing or electricity and for the amenities in new home construction communities.

  • Neighborhood factors which are important to buyers show strong connections to the buyer’s generation. Gen Y places the highest preference compared to other generations on convenience to job as well as affordability of homes. As buyers’ children reach school age, the quality of school districts and convenience to schools starts to have a larger importance—this is most often true for Gen X. Older Boomers and the Silent Generation place higher priority on convenience to friends and family and convenience to health facilities.

See the full report here