Economists' Outlook

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REALTORS®' Age & First-Time Home Buyers' Age: Mind the Gap

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  • “Buyers these days just keep getting younger and younger!”  While this is true, the most recent data from the 2011 Member Profile shows that REALTORS® are also getting older.
  • The typical member in 1999 was a spring chicken at 52 years of age. In 2011, NAR’s typical member was 56 years of age.
  • The age of first-time buyers has also slid in recent years as home buying affordability opened the market. The more recent data from the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers shows the typical age of first-time buyers is now 30, down from 32 in 2006.
  • Younger consumers are changing many retail markets and real estate is no exception. The internet is playing a larger role in home buying. Younger buyers use the internet more frequently in their home search process than older buyers—95 percent of buyers under 44 used the internet compared to 62 percent of buyers older than 65. Also, younger buyers typically want a different type of home than an older, repeat buyer may want: smaller, closer to urban areas, and a higher priority placed on proximity to entertainment.
  • If this trend continues, how will you bridge the age difference between yourself and buyers?
  • For more information on the Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, click here >. For more information on the Member Profile, click here > .

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