Lots of interesting tidbits of information in a recently released report by NAR – “Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends” – highlighting the results of a 122 question survey mailed to 150,000 recent home buyers on a geographic basis and comparing responses based on the defined generational age*.

For the complete report and data exhibits: —http://www.realtor.org/sites/default/files/reports/2014/2014-home-buyer-and-seller-generational-trends-report-full.pdf

Some Highlights:

  • When choosing an agent, younger buyers were more likely to place the agent’s honesty and trustworthiness as a higher factor than older buyers, while older buyers rate the agent’s reputation and their knowledge of the neighborhood as a higher factor—perhaps because older buyers tend to move longer distances and may not necessarily know the neighborhood.
  • Younger generations of buyers typically find the home they purchase through the internet, while older generations of buyers first found the home they purchased through their real estate agent.
  • Among all generations of home buyers the first step in the home buying process is looking online for properties for sale. Gen Y is most likely among generations to also look online for information about the home buying process, while the Silent Generation is most likely to contact a real estate agent.
  • The older the home buyer, the fewer compromises the buyer tended to make with their home purchase—more than half of the Silent Generation made no compromises on their home purchase. Younger buyers tended to make sacrifices on the price of the home, distance from job, size of the home, and condition of the home purchased.
  • At least 80 percent of buyers who are aged 58 and younger bought a detached single-family home, while it is increasingly common for buyers over the age of 58 to purchase townhouses and condos.

*The definitions of the generations used to distinguish home buyers and sellers were based on a study published in the REALTOR® University’s Center for Real Estate Studies journal article titled, Generational Trends in Homeownership: An Era of Renters? by Glenn E. Crellin.

Millennials/Gen Y/Gen Next: 1980-2000 Age:33 and younger

Gen X: 1965-1979 Age:34 to 48

Younger Boomers: 1955-1964 Age:49 to 58

Older Boomers: 1946-1954 Age:59 to 67

Silent Generation: 1925-1945 Age:68 to 88