Understanding buyers is going to be especially important this year – interest rates and prices are rising, inventory shortages remain commonplace throughout the U.S., and our housing market is now operating under a president promising a broad spectrum of change.
A recent realtor.com survey gauged the interests and motivations driving the buying decisions of each generation. We’ve already broken down the specifics of Millennials, Gen Xers, Young Boomers and Old Boomers. And now we look at The Silent Generation (ages 65 and up), who, as our tables below illustrate, are looking for peace, quiet, and comfort.
Goals of Buying
What Generation Y is looking for in a home is comfort – not only comfort in their home, but comfort in their area. Agents looking for a comprehensive overview of how any specific location is suited to older generations should consult AARP’s Livability Index, which provides hyper specific ratings on dozens of metrics, including access to healthcare, availability of convenient transportation options, and housing affordability.
|Goals of Buying||The Silent Generation (65+)|
|*Based on a 100-point scale|
Motivations for Buying
There are three motivators driving home purchase decisions among the country’s 65-and-up population: convenience to friends and family, retirement, and low interest rates. There is a caveat, though, to the interest rate motivation. Some agents may see today’s 4.3-plus mortgage rates, compare it to the last two years, and think the rate rise will dissuade buyers; however, it likely won’t, because, historically, 4.3 percent (or even 5 percent) is still very low.
|Motivations for Buying||The Silent Generation (65+)|
|Desire to live closer to family/friends||29%|
|Favorable interest rate||28%|
|Relocated to a new city||15%|
|Needed special features||14%|
Time Frame for Purchases
Despite their age, Silent Generation buyers are looking to make their move quickly (perhaps to capitalize on the lowest possible mortgage rates). Young Boomers are the only generation with a higher share wanting to buy within three months.
|Time Frame for Purchases||The Silent Generation (65+)|
|Within 1 month||7%|
Most Preferred Purchases
Reflective of their motivations, 65-and-up buyers most want a place that puts them close to friends and family. However, they also showed a distinct preference for a quality home that will not require much maintenance.
|Most Preferred Purchases||The Silent Generation (65+)|
|Convenient to friends/family||10.531|
|Quality of construction||9.902|
|Lower maintenance costs||8.62|
|Convenient to amenities||7.314|
|*Based on a 100-point scale|
Agents shouldn’t expect to see many 65-and-up buyers flocking to urban cores. They are looking for a slower pace of life – think suburbs and small towns.
|Location Preference||The Silent Generation (65+)|
|Suburbs (closer to urban core)||36%|
Property Type Preference
Aligned with every other generation, the country’s oldest buyers want a detached, single-family home. One unique preference, however, is their draw to mobile homes. Eleven percent of buyers 65 and up prefer mobile homes, more than double any other generation.
|Property Type Preference||The Silent Generation (65+)|
Impediments to Purchase
The biggest roadblocks facing Silent Generation buyers is finding a home with everything they need in a neighborhood with access to everything else they need. Agents have an opportunity to be a significant resource for such buyers.
|Impediments to Purchase||The Silent Generation (65+)|
|Haven’t found a house that meets needs||42%|
|Just starting to explore||23%|
|Haven’t decided on a neighborhood||20%|
|Can’t find home in budget||19%|
|Can’t (or need to) sell current home||12%|