Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Young home buyers remain optimistic and see their home as a good investment, while older buyers are more likely to trade down to a smaller property to match changing lifestyles, according to the 2014 National Association of Realtors® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study, which evaluates the generational differences of recent home buyers and sellers.

Eight out of 10 recent buyers considered their home purchase a good financial investment, ranging from 87 percent for buyers age 33 and younger, to 74 percent for buyers 68 and older.

Some more highlights from the 2014 report, released earlier today:

  • Gen Y comprises the largest share of home buyers at 31 percent, followed by Gen X at 30 percent, and both Younger (16 percent) and Older Boomers (14 percent) at 30 percent. The Silent Generation has the smallest share of home buyers at nine percent.
  • Gen Y has the largest share of first-time buyers at 76 percent. The share of first-time buyers declines as age increases. Among the Silent Generation only two percent of buyers are first-time buyers.
  • 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.
  • More than half of Gen Y and Gen X buyers used a mobile device during their home search. Among those who did, 26 percent of Gen Y and 22 percent of Gen X found the home they ultimately purchased via a mobile device.
  • Younger buyers were predominately referred to their agent through a friend, neighbor, or relative, while older buyers were more likely to use an agent again that they previously used to buy or sell a home.
  • Overall 88 percent of recent buyers financed their home purchase. Nearly all (97 percent) of Gen Y buyers financed compared to just 55 percent of Silent Generation buyers.
  • Among the generations, Gen X (29 percent) is the largest group who are recent home sellers followed by both Older Boomers (22 percent) and Younger Boomers (21 percent).
  • Younger sellers are more likely to use the same real estate agent or broker for their home purchase than older sellers, as they are typically moving closer to their previous residence.

See more detailed generational breakdowns after the jump:

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