Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

The Silent Generation: Downsizing Homes & Joining Senior-Related Housing

The Silent Generation, buyers aged 73 to 93 years, made up the smallest share of buyers by age at only seven percent of all home buyers in 2018. The median age for this group was 76 years old and they were born between 1925 and 1945. They tended to have the smallest families; 96 percent of these buyers had no children living at home under the age of 18 years and they made up the same share of single female buyers as Younger Boomers at 25 percent. Of the generations, buyers 73 to 93 years bought fewer multi-generational home at 13 percent. For those that purchased a multi-generational home, the reason was for the health and caretaking of aging relatives at 13 percent.

The Silent Generation had the smallest share of first-time home buyers at only four percent, which was expected for their age group. Correspondingly, they made up the largest share to move directly from a home that they owned at 82 percent. They also had the lowest median household income at $69,600, likely living off retirement funds. They managed their finances accordingly and bought homes with the second lowest median home price at $243,000. They also purchased some of the newest homes last year with a median year of 1996.

Buyers aged 73 to 93 years also bought new homes at 14 percent and wanted the amenities of new home construction communities (23 percent). These buyers were the most likely to purchase a duplex, apartment, or condominium at nine percent, or a townhouse at 10 percent. They were also the most likely to buy a home in senior-related housing at 29 percent. These buyers wanted a home convenient to friends and family (47 percent) and for the convenience to shopping (34 percent). They were the least likely to buy homes in an area for the quality of the school district, convenience to schools, or for the convenience to a job. They were also the least likely to compromise on the condition of the home (16 percent). The Silent Generation also bought frequently in a rural area at 23 percent.

The age group of buyers 73 to 93 years were the highest share among the generations to purchase for the desire to be closer to friends and family (27 percent) and for a smaller home (17 percent). They had an expected tenure in the home at a median of 10 years. They were the most likely to move due to a household member’s health and least likely to want a larger home.

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