A guide to the 2017 buyer: Generation X

by Chip Bell

2017-home-buyer-realtor.com-generation x-survey

As we mentioned in the first entry in our “A Guide to the 2017 Buyer” series – which covered Millennials – the question “What does this year’s buyer look like?” is particularly pressing this year.

It’s pressing because we start 2017 by inaugurating a new president that promises, for better or worse, to govern in a manner decidedly different from his predecessors – which could mean a decidedly different housing market.

In a recent survey, realtor.com attempted to gauge the buying market to better understand what is driving demand; what buyers are looking for in a home; where they are looking; and myriad other considerations that go into making that ultimate purchase. And then they organized their results by generation (i.e., Millennials, Generation X, Generation Jones, Baby Boomers and The Silent Generation).

Generation X hits their stride

In this entry, we look at Generation X (ages 35 to 44).

As our table below illustrates, Generation X buyers are still family oriented, like Millennials (and all other generations), but they’ve gotten to a point of stability where concerns like privacy, investment and physical comforts hold significant weight in their ultimate decision of when, where and what to purchase.

Over the next 12 months, real estate professionals should expect a wave of Generation X move-up buyers to start exploring homeownership. However, it may come much sooner, as the majority of Generation Xers considering a purchase plan to do so within the next three months.

Goals of Buying

Family 22.05
Privacy 21.19
Financial investment 13.08
Physical comforts 9.97
Stability 9.15
*Based on a 100-point scale

Motivations for Buying

Tired of current home 31%
Change in family circumstances 21%
Favorable home prices 19%
Rising rents 18%
Increase in family size 17%

Time Frame for Purchases

1-3 months 27%
10-12 months 22%
4-6 months 18%
13-18 months 8%
Within 1 month 7%

Most Preferred Purchases

Larger yard 12.46
Proximity to good schools 10.41
More living space 9.48
Quality of construction 9.32
Safer neighborhood 7.66
*Based on a 100-point scale

Location Preference

Outlying suburbs 27%
Suburbs (closer to urban core) 26%
Rural area 15%
Small town 12%
No preference 10%
Urban area 10%

Property Type Preference

Single-family home 63%
Townhouse/Rowhouse 22%
Multifamily 8%
Condo/apartment 4%
Mobile 4%

Impediments to Purchase

Just starting to explore 38%
Can’t find home in budget 29%
Haven’t found a house that meets needs 25%
Can’t afford downpayment 19%
Haven’t decided on a neighborhood 18%

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