What’s Age Got to Do With It?

Some homebuyer attitudes are not hard to predict based on the buyer’s age. For example, older buyers cite health issues as the most likely factor that could prompt a move from a recently purchased house. The top answers for younger buyers are career changes and the desire for a larger home.

Other homebuyer preferences are harder to peg to age, though. Here are a few results from the NAR 2019 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report that may surprise you.

Not all first-time buyers are young. In fact, 12% of people ages 54 to 63 who bought a home recently were first-time buyers. Among buyers older than 63, 5% were experiencing homeownership for the first time.

Younger buyers buy older homes. One quarter of millennial buyers purchased homes built prior to 1962. The youngest millennials bought homes that were much older than the homes bought by baby boomers and the silent generation (median of 1980 compared to mid to late 1990s).

All ages want environmentally friendly features. Millennial buyers are much more likely than the silent generation to cite commuting costs as important (40% compared to 13%). However, silent generation buyers are twice as likely to consider solar panels important (16% compared to 8%). Older generations were also more likely to value energy efficient appliances and energy-conserving landscaping.

The Generations Age in 2019
Millennials 21-38
Gen Xers 39-53
Baby boomers 54-72
Silent generation 73-93

14 of the 20 counties with the most affordable housing markets in the U.S. are located in Texas, according to an analysis by mortgage-information website freeandclear.com. However, all 14 of those counties are located in sparsely populated areas of the state. The study determined housing affordability by comparing median household incomes to median home values. Using that method, only 4.4% of all U.S. counties had unaffordable housing. Many of those counties are urban population centers, though, with nearly a quarter of the entire U.S. population living in those areas. The five most affordable counties in Texas are King, Kenedy, Cochran, Foard, and Knox.