5 facts that explain Older Boomers’ homebuying habits

by Joe Ward

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With all the talk of Millennials and how they fit into the housing market, retirement-age Baby Boomers don’t get a lot of attention as a home-buying population. The numbers show, however, that “Older Boomers” aged 62 to 70 years are a sizable and motivated group of prospective homebuyers.

Here are some facts that define Older Boomers and their homebuying preferences, according to a survey by the National Association of Realtors:

 

1. Older Boomers made up 14 percent of all homebuyers in 2016 and 21 percent of sellers in 2016, showing that some Older Boomers sell to get out of homeownership.

2. Older Boomers have the lowest median income of all buyers at $76,000. They purchase homes at a median price of $225,000. Since many of them are already homeowners, 56 percent of the age group uses the proceeds from the sale of a primary home as the source of their down payment. The age group also is the most likely group to save for a down payment for more than two years.

3. They own the highest share of investment property, at 11 percent, and the highest share of vacation property, at 6 percent.

4. Compared to other buyers, Older Boomers move the greatest distance at a median of 25 miles. That’s likely because they don’t consider good schools or jobs as a basis for moving. In fact, 19 percent of them move to be closer to friends and family, and 24 percent bought in a small town, tied for second most of any age group.

5. Older Boomers are the most satisfied with the homebuying process, at 91 percent. That’s because older buyers feel they can take their time to buy their forever home. They are most likely to drive by neighborhoods and are the least likely to find homebuying paperwork to be difficult.