Five very diverse generations are purchasing homes according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Market trends and statistics of these buyers’ choices was published in the NAR’s Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Report 2017. The survey represents input from respondents from a pool of 93,171 recent homebuyers to whom the survey was distributed in 2016. According to the NAR, “A total of 5,465 responses were received from primary residence buyers.” The generations surveyed included:
- Gen Y / Millennials: (Born 1980 - 1998)
- Gen X: (Born 1965 - 1979)
- Younger Boomers: (Born 1955 - 1964)
- Older Boomers: (Born 1946 - 1954)
- Silent Generation: Born (1925 - 1945)
The economic recovery has empowered greater number of Gen X buyers to purchase homes in the last year. 21% of these buyers had desired to sell a home during the recession and couldn’t because the home was upside down in a mortgage, often called being underwater.
Significant buyer characteristics
35% of the market is comprised of people purchasing a first home. The NAR notes, “66% of buyers 36 years and younger were first-time buyers, followed by buyers 37 to 51 years at 26%.” The vast majority of home buyers are married at 66%. 83% of homes purchased are single family homes.
Multi-generational home sales increased
Another trend seen growing in the last year is the number of families who purchase a multi-generational home. “11% of home buyers purchased a multi-generational home to take care of aging parents, for cost savings, and because children over the age of 18 are moving back.” Increasingly, Younger Boomers and Millennials have children living at home and college loan debt encumbers Gen X and boomer families. Sharing the cost of a home across generations can be a significant opportunity to lessen the expense of a home.
When it comes to reasons why a home was purchased, people less than 61 years of age bought a home because they wished to own a home of their own. Older buyers made home purchases because of retirement or a desire to relocate nearer other family members. For buyers between 37 and 51, many purchased a home because they desired a larger home. “The size of homes for buyers 37 to 51 years was typically larger homes at 2,100 square feet, compared to buyers 36 years and younger and 71 years and older that purchased homes at a median of 1,800.”
New construction homes purchaser insights
New construction homes were selected by buyers who wished to avoid renovation or plumbing or electricity upfits or modifications. New home buyers comprise 14% of the home buying market. Younger buyers prefer new homes, specifically so they don’t have to worry about renovation.
Kristi Fruin, is typical of many new home buyers. She chose Charleston because of its appeal. “I purchased my new home after recently selling my home in Greenville, SC. I visited the Charleston area in January and fell in love. It is such a thriving area with so much to do and explore.” She chose her home specifically because it was new construction, in Goose Creek which is a growing area, and as she said, “not too far from shopping and dining on Rivers Avenue.” Fruin reports, “I'm currently in a great neighborhood filled with diverse and friendly people. I am really enjoying the area and getting to know it.”
Neighborhoods, Realtors and online selection are important to buyers
Buyers had very particular reasons why they selected their neighborhoods. Survey respondents indicated, “Quality of the neighborhood (60%), convenience to job (43%), and overall home affordability (40%) were the three most important factors to recent home buyers when choosing a neighborhood.”
When it comes to selling their previously owned homes, buyers relied on Realtors® — “Nine in 10 home sellers worked with a real estate agent to sell their home, which is consistent across all age groups.” Home purchasers are loyal to their real estate agent. “The typical seller has recommended their agent twice since selling their home. 33% of sellers recommended their agent three or more times since selling their home.”
A home buyer’s journey to purchase typically begins online. “Among nearly all generations of home buyers, the first step taken was to look online for properties, except for buyers 71 years and older who contacted a real estate agent first.” This single fact indicates how deeply entrenched digital shopping has become across most all people’s lives, which makes Charleston New Homes Guide all the more relevant for those searching for new homes.
Buyers don’t rush into their home choices either. The majority spent 10 - 12 weeks viewing homes, with the average buyer visiting a minimum of 10 homes before finding one they wished to purchase.
Charleston market reflects generational buyer demand
Charleston is one of the many home buying markets which have experienced strong growth and demand for homes. As of July 10 according to the Charleston Trident Association of Realtors, “Sales volume has increased about 7% compared to 2016, with homes selling for about 4% more than they did at this point last year.”
If you’re one of the individuals from any of the generations who are contemplating a home purchase in the Lowcountry, it’s obvious — it’s clear, the time is now, no matter your generation to purchase a home in the greater Charleston area.
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