Home Buying Differences Between Older and Younger Boomers

There are 79 million baby boomers, and this year, the oldest boomers turn 65. Their impact on the economy is enormous, so looking at the home buying trends of this group highlights interesting differences between older and younger boomers. A new survey from Coldwell Banker reveals that younger baby boomers are interested in purchasing a second home (34 percent) as compared to their older boomer counterparts (22 percent).

You may have noticed we have been talking a lot about first-time home buyers recently. They are an important part of today’s market. But, they are not alone, and no one can ignore the 79 million-strong baby boomer generation, which has helped drive so many trends in society. We know how important it is to recognize the housing plans of this demographic cohort, so we conducted a survey to identify the economic implications of the generation as a whole, as well as the home buying differences between older and younger baby boomers. Thanks to the 1,300 Coldwell Banker agents and brokers who participated, we were able to get some insight into this complex and very powerful generation.

Here are some highlights of what we learned:

• Not surprisingly, 87 percent of 1,300 agents and brokers polled agree that the economy is delaying baby boomers’ plans to sell their homes.
• However, the desire to own one or more homes in this generation remains strong. 87 percent of the respondents have boomer-aged clients who already own or are looking to own an investment property.
• 80 percent of respondents said that older boomers (age 56-64) are more likely to want to downsize than younger boomers, but it’s not all about money: 49 percent said the primary reason boomers in general are downsizing is for a simpler lifestyle.
• More than one-third (34 percent) of agents say younger baby boomers (ages 47-55) are interested in purchasing a second home, and 31 percent of respondents say they are working with younger boomers, selling and looking for a larger home.
Now, I know baby boomers are a very diverse group. There is nearly a 20 year age span between the oldest and youngest folks in this generation, which is why we felt it was very important to look at them separately and also in aggregate. Like many people, some boomers are anxious about how the current economy could affect their real estate transaction.
It is important to remember that baby boomers, just like all homeowners, move because of lifestyle reasons. Younger boomers may be moving for a job, perhaps making an investment on a second home, or downsizing because their kids have left home and now they are empty nesters. Older boomers are moving into or beginning to think about retirement, and more often than not looking for a smaller home and a simpler life.

Are you a baby boomer? Let me know what you think about the impact this generation has on housing overall.


About John Lamberton-Broker, SRES- Coldwell Banker First Ottawa Realty

Residential and Commercial Real Estate Sales
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