By Peter Ricci
The next generation of potential homeowners are smart, savvy individuals with a unique understanding of both how homeownership works and the sacrifices it requires, according to a homebuyers survey by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate (BHG).
A national survey of 1,001 nationally representative Americans, the BHG study specifically targeted members of Generation X and Generation Y, or, consumers ages 18 to 35.
Better Homes and Gardens Homebuyers Survey
Gen X and Yers make up 103 million Americans, meaning that they’ll be comprising a sizable chunk of real estate activity in the coming years. Here are some of the main things BHG uncovered in its homebuyers survey among this ever-important demographic:
- Seventy-one percent of the respondents understood that homeownership is something that they must earn, and many would be willing to make various sacrifices to afford owning a home, including eating out less (62 percent), working a second job (40 percent) or even moving back home with their parents (23 percent).
- Sixty-nine percent reported that because of the housing downturn, and the media’s constant reporting on housing-related issues, they know more about housing than their parents did at their age, with interest rates (58 percent), home prices in a desired neighborhood (59 percent), and the ability to secure a loan (51 percent) being of particular interest to respondents.
- Also, the homebuyers survey found that 75 percent of respondents see owning a home as an indicator of success (as opposed to 9 percent who saw a car as an indicator), and 69 percent reported they would be ready to own a home when they could afford to both buy and maintain their lifestyle.
Sherry Chris – “Defining Economic Events”
Sherry Chris, the president and CEO of BHG, said the housing downturn has been a defining event for Gen X and Yers.
“‘The Greatest Generation’ was shaped by the Great Depression and Baby Boomers were impacted by the oil crises throughout the 1970s. Gen X and Gen Y experienced their ‘coming of age’ moment during the largest housing market downturn in American history,” Chris said. “As such, these generations believe that the details, risks and rewards of home buying are integral to their planning.”
Of course, that’s not how Gen X and Y are often perceived; in fact, while reading BHG’s survey results, we couldn’t help but think back to a much-read Zillow homebuyers survey from last fall, which actually found potential homebuyers wanting in knowledge of the real estate process.
That, however, is not the perception of BHG, Chris said: “Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate sees a group of people who are wise, proactive and are taking a strategic approach to their future.”