Home Buyer And Seller Generational Trends 1

Last July NAR mailed out a 122 question survey to 148,011 recent home buyers.  They got 8,767 back - that's almost a 6% response rate.  Not bad.   I really hope that "mailed out" is a generic term, and that there weren't actually 139,244 paper surveys that went straight to recycling.  Please tell me it was at least a mix of paper and digital, or I'm going to be suspecting the results from the very beginning.

The survey page, with bullet-ridden summary slides and a meatier PDF, are here:


There's more than enough to chew on here for multiple blog posts. 

How would you expect home-buying to break out among Gen X, Y, Boomers and the Silent Generation?

NAR's data says this:

  • Gen Y - 31%
  • Gen X - 30%
  • Younger Boomers - 16%
  • Older Boomers - 14%
  • Silent - 9%

In other words, it's a three-horse race - Y, X and Boomers.  If it was sent via paper survey, I'd multiply the Gen Y figures - to get ANY returns on a paper survey from Gen Y is nothing short of amazing.

Gen Y are digital natives, with a personal computer somewhere in their childhood. 72% of them, according to Forrester, own a smartphone. They buy more apps than their Millennial younger sibs.  Forrester says they have more disposable income.  (As a parent of teenagers, I disagree. Mine are perfectly happy to dispose of my income; what they lack for their own app purchases is a credit card.)

Those top-line numbers practically scream "content marketing" to me.   Sure enough, Exhibit 3-1 on Page 39 - "First Step Taken During The Home Buying Process":

  • Looked online for properties for sale   42%
  • Contacted a real estate agent  17% (esp. Boomers)
  • Looked online for information about the home buying process 14%
  • Drove by homes/neighborhoods 7%

Look at your web site, social media and marketing.  How much attention are you paying to #3?  (Can you really differentiate in #1?  Aside from a great photo, what can you do about #2?)

More on this study.  Darn interesting.  Too bad they share the data in little Excel tables only.