Cash Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends

The cash home buyers differ every year from generation to generation. Each generation is placed into categories:

  • The Silent Generation:
    • Born between 1925 and 1945
  • The Baby Boomers:
    • Older Baby Boomers: are born between 1946 and 1954
    • Younger Baby Boomers: are born between 1955 and 1964
  • Generation X:
    • Born between 1965 and 1979
  • Millennials (Gen Y):
    • Older Millennials: Born between 1980 and 1989
    • Younger Millennials: Born between 1990 and 1998
  • Generation Z:
    • Born from 1999 to the present

The National Association of Realtors has written yearly updates since 2013. They reveal their findings in the Home Buyers and Sellers Generation Trends Report. The 2019 update revealed that millennials, specifically the older millennials (ages 29-38) take the lead for cash home buyers and Generation X takes the lead when it comes to selling homes.

Every generation continued to use real estate agents or a broker to assist them with buying and selling their homes. Buyers relied heavily on real estate agents to help them find the right home and negotiate the pricing. A real estate agent understands the logistics of selling a home. They inform the homeowner if there are any issues or changes in the price of the house and what they can do to increase the value of the home so it is appealing and available to the market.

The silent generation is the most likely to stay in a home forever. 34% of the silent generation do not move homes. As the years' progressed, 29% of the silent generation has or will purchase retirement-related housing. 27% have bought homes to be closer to their family and friends. Finally, 7% of the silent generation are buying homes. In recent years, the silent generation has focused on moving to retirement homes or downsizing their homes.

The older baby boomers’ highest purchasing percentage today is due to the buying retirement-related homes at 47%. Most of the older baby boomers did not move very far from their previous home with a median of 30 miles away and strongly desired the ability to internally customize their home. 19% bought their homes in the suburbs or a subdivision. The remaining 14% are new buyers.

53% of younger baby boomers have credit card debt that is preventing them from purchasing a downpayment on a home. 35% of them find the cost of cooling and heating their homes an important factor in their purchasing decision. 18% of younger baby boomers desire a new home and are new or recent home buyers. Finally, it takes the younger baby boomers an average of 12 weeks to search and purchase a new home.

56% of Generation X bought homes in a suburb and subdivision. 47% of generation X would begin their search for their new homes off the internet. 24% are new or recent home buyers and 16% bought a multi-generational home which means that more than one generation of a family was living in the same home. A steady record shows that those 53 years of age and younger sold their house to upgrade to a larger and more expensive home while those that were 53 years and older downgraded to buying less expensive homes.

Older millennials have a more traditional buying habit. They had a considerably larger buyer share of married couples and were the most common to have children under the age of 18. Their home-buying decisions were influenced by their family or intention to begin a family. They bought most of their homes in the suburbs or a subdivision and began finding homes on a mobile apps at a whopping 81%. Over half of them were first-time buyers at 52%, 42% have student loan debt, and 26% of them were new or recent home buyers.

The younger millennials are the largest first-time buyers at 86%. 71% of younger millennials pay attention to the distance from their work and take the quality of their neighborhood into buying considerations. 40% say that they prefer a shorter overall commute. Finally, 11% are new or recent home buyers.

Within each time period reveals differentiating circumstances that have affected each generation’s buying and selling decisions as well as the speed of buying and selling homes. Buyers today face financial issues from student debt while the baby boomers face economic hardships that would have delayed the buying and selling process. Companies that buy houses have more of an advantage today than in the last 60 years because of technology. Hundreds of homes have the ability to be viewed within a matter of seconds. People in search of houses to buy and real estate companies/agents that have these properties for sale can send updates and notifications to each other about the specifics of any home. Homebuyers can check regularly to see what homes are available and what they are priced at. Real estate agents can advertise the homes that they have for sale as well as put new homes up for sale. You want to make sure you are working with one of the best companies that buy houses for the best deal.

Despite the differences between the generations buying and selling habits, there are a few factors that they have in common. Throughout the years, each generation continues to rely on real estate agents to help guide them to their dream home. Each generation had ideal properties in mind they were trying to find and get as possible close to. High expectations and specific needs are one of the hardest parts of house searching.

Older generations; however, are repeat sellers more often than the younger generations. Generation X, baby boomers, and the silent generation were repeat house sellers. Today there is a large percentage of people, mostly around the millennial generation and younger, who are focusing more on renting. This can range from renting homes to renting apartments. The rise in renting will affect the future percentages of homeownership and mortgage statistics. As technology becomes more readily available to larger amounts of consumers, the change in consumer spending and speed at which they buy and sell homes for cash will change at a fascinating rate. Once a larger percentage of Generation Z is introduced into the market, who knows what it will look like.


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