Economists' Outlook

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Older Boomers: Single Females Buying Homes

Using data from the 2020 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, Older Boomers, buyers aged 65 to 73 years, made up 15% of all homebuyers in 2019. The median age for this group was 68 years old and they were born between 1946 and 1954. Within this group, they had the third-largest share of single female buyers at 22%. Their primary reasons for purchasing a home were the desire to live closer to friends and family (22%) and retirement (14%).

Older Boomers most often purchased homes in the suburbs (51%) or in a small town (23%). They were also the most likely age group to purchase new construction (82%), for the ability to customize design features and to avoid renovations. Compared to other buyers, they moved the greatest distance at a median of 40 miles from their previous home. Older Boomers were less likely to purchase homes for the quality of school districts or convenience to schools. Rather, they purchased homes for the quality of the neighborhood (60%) and for convenience to friends and family (48%). Buyers aged 65 to 73 were the second most likely to not make compromises in their home search (42%).

In their home search process, Older Boomers were very likely to contact a real estate agent as their first step, from which they sought help finding the right home to purchase, and who helped them expand their search area. Older Boomers were very satisfied with the home buying process at 94%. They searched for a median of 10 weeks and viewed eight homes before purchasing.

Older Boomers’ income was below the median income of all buyers ($93,200) at just $81,200 and they purchased homes at a median price of $255,900 and a median size of 1,850 square feet. Older Boomers were the most likely to use the proceeds from the sale of a primary residence as the source of their downpayment (56%) and from an IRA account (6%); their median down payment was 25% of the purchase. Debt delayed this group’s home purchases for a median of five years.

Older Boomers were the largest share of home sellers at 23%. The median age for Older Boomer sellers was 68 years. They had the second-lowest median income at $83,800. They sold to be closer to friends and family (28%) and due to retirement (14%). Contrary to popular perception, this group did not downsize; on average, Older Boomers purchased a home slightly larger (50 sq ft) than the home they sold. They receive the second-highest equity at 41% and second-highest dollar value at $76,500.

Fact sheet: Older Boomers

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