The stats are in. Each year the National Association of Realtors (NAR) releases its Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report, which identifies significant trends and characteristics of buyers and sellers in the current market. The latest report is based on a 129-question survey filled out by nearly 7,200 people who bought a home between July 2018 and June 2019.
An interesting discovery in this year’s report is that millennial buyers’ preferences aren’t all that different from their boomer parents once reaching a certain age. Instead of flocking to luxury condo towers, 82% of them are clamoring for affordable, single-family homes, often in the suburbs.
“They tend to have three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and clock in at roughly 1,900 square feet. Median sold price: $250,000,” according to realtor.com’s Clare Trapasso. She quotes the NAR’s research analyst Jessica Lautz: “All generations are pushed to the suburbs today for affordability and the types of amenities they’re looking for. They’re looking for places that are convenient to their jobs and friends and family and in the school district of choice.”
More than half of buyers surveyed, 51%, flocked to the ‘burbs. An additional 20% chose small towns, while 13% picked rural areas. That means only 14% of buyers are buying homes in urban areas—barely up from 13% the previous year, even though millennials were the most likely to be city dwellers, at 17%, a slight increase from 15% last year.
So who is in the market? While the median buyer was 46 years old, millennials make up 37% of buyers with many of those being the leading edge of the age range. Baby boomers were the second-largest group of buyers, at 32%, followed by Gen Xers, at 24% and the silent generation at 7%. One-third of all home buyers were first timers.
Sixty-three percent of home buyers were married, but the report found that there were twice as many single women buyers than their male counterparts, with many of them aged 54 and older. Unmarried couples made up 8% of buyers.
“The top reason for purchasing a property was a desire to achieve the American dream of homeownership,” says Trapasso. “About 29% of respondents cited this in the survey. Next up was wanting a bigger abode, at 9%; wanting to be closer to family and friends, at 8%; a job-related move, at 8%; a change in family circumstances, at 7%; and simply wanting to live in a nicer area, at 7%.”
Want to learn even more about today’s home buyers and sellers? Check out the full report from NAR.