Who is Buying Single-Family Homes?

The National Association of REALTORS’ 2016 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report highlights who’s buying homes, who’s selling them and what trends are on the horizon.

Millenials are the largest share of home-buyers, according to the National Association of REALTORS’ 2016 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report. They are also becoming more and more traditional in their buying habits, the report says, and are purchasing detached homes in suburban locations.  Insights has shed light on this trend before, in a previous post about suburban vitality.

But the report investigates home-buying trends far beyond Millenails in the suburbs. For example, it explains how buyers between the ages of 61 to 69, which the report categorizes as “Older Boomers,” tend to move further than other buyers. From the report:

Older Boomers typically move the longest distance compared to all other buyers at a median of 34 miles. Older Boomers also project the length of time they will live in their home is the longest at 20 years.

This year’s report also has a brand new area of focus – it calls out how debt affects the way people save for a down payment. The effect is significant:

The number of years in which the debt delayed them from saving increased as the buyer’s age increased. Student loan debt is one of the debts that buyers may have. In fact, 44 percent of Gen Y buyers did have student loan debt with a median loan balance of $25,000. The share who have student loan debt declines as the buyer’s age increases. While only 11 percent of Younger Boomers have student loan debt, they have the highest median balance of debt at $29,100.

The report suggests that high student loan debt among Younger Boomers may actually come from their children.

To find more information on home-buying trends, the NAR also published an informative infographic with highlights from the document. This is the tip of the iceberg for the report, which is available in full here.