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What Kind of Home Is Most In Demand By Sellers?

by Peter Thomas Ricci

What kind of property did home sellers move into? And what factors altered the nature of that property? We investigate.

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Home sellers, as we previously reported, sell their homes for a number of reasons, but there generally is one constant to the process – they ultimately move into a new residence that differs in some way from the home they sold.

But what are the qualities of that new residence? And in what notable ways does it differ from their previous home? To answer those questions, we dug a little deeper into NAR’s 2013 Home Buyer and Home Seller Generational Trends report, and came out with four interesting trends among home sellers in 2013:

1. Younger sellers go big – Younger home sellers, on average, may sell the smallest home at 1,500 square feet, but they more than make up for it with what they buy. For sellers aged 32 and younger, the next home purchase is for a 2,450-square-foot residence, a mammoth jump of 950 square feet. Similarly, sellers aged 33 to 47 bought homes that were 750 square feet larger. We’ve spilt lots of ink on whether or not home sizes are declining, and it appears that younger consumers have not lost their appetites for larger residences one bit.

2. Younger sellers go expensive – Similarly, younger home sellers also move up the totem pole on price, with those aged 32 and younger jumping from a $152,900 property to a $250,000, an increase of $97,100 (and a 63 percent jump!); meanwhile, sellers aged 33 to 47 upped the ante by $73,000 to $278,000.

3. Older sellers downsize – On the opposite end of the spectrum, older sellers are still downsizing both the price and square footage of their homes, and by marked amounts. Sellers aged 67 and older opt for homes with 200 less square feet, and sellers aged 67 to 87 buy properties that are $24,100 less.

4. Old means mobile – Finally, on a very interesting note, older sellers are by far the most mobile. Home sellers 32 and younger and 33 to 47 move just 15 and 14 miles, respectively, from their old residences, while sellers aged 58 to 66 and 67 to 87 moved 43 and 38 miles away. Those numbers could be a bit slanted with the economic downturn – after all, not many young professionals have been moving for work lately, and some younger homeowners are still grounded by negative equity – but the contrast, nonetheless, is striking.

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