Getting inside the head of this spring’s homebuyer

by John Frank


The recently released Active Spring Home Shopper report from realtor.com dives into the mind of this spring’s cohort of homebuyers by breaking down their needs by age group. According to the report, privacy is the top reason out of 10 that people of all age groups want to buy a home this spring.

Among all age groups, putting the needs of one’s immediate family and children first is a close second to privacy. The third, fourth and fifth reasons are closely contested by even smaller margins — they are stability, financial investment, and physical comforts, respectively.

According to the report, many people who decide to leave their home are “triggered” to buy a new one. The top trigger for homebuyers this spring is growing tired of one’s current home, accounting for 35 percent of homebuyers’ motivation for seeking a new home.

Following the report’s breakdown by age, however, offers up some interesting differences. Spring homebuyers over 55 years old are triggered to buy a new home because they are considering retirement, while the leading homeownership motivation for buyers 25-44 years old is family needs, including looking for a safer neighborhood. Having a private space to be solely their own is the top goal for homebuyers 45-65 years old, by a large margin.

In terms of property type, over 53 percent of spring homebuyers are searching for single-family homes, while 26 percent are searching for townhouses/single-family attached homes. In every age group, the percentage of those looking for single-family homes is much higher than townhouses/single-family attached homes, except for the Millennials aged 25-34. Millennials are more attracted to townhomes, condominiums and single-family attached homes (41 percent). This may be because they face low inventory and rising home costs across the country and difficulty affording a down payment for a single-family home.

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