Why lump 79 million Americans together?
According to Pew Research, the Baby Boomer generation in America accounts for 26 percent of the total U.S. population, with nearly 79 million people between the age of 47 and 65. On January 1st of this year, the oldest Baby Boomers turned 65 and Pew notes that for the next 19 years, nearly 10,000 Americans will cross that threshold every day- an astonishing demographic shift.
Typically, this generation is treated as a single generation, but it is hard to overlook that today’s 65 year old is far different than today’s 50 year old, and it is finally becoming chic to separate the Baby Boomer generation into two groups based on age.
Does economic fear mean pent up demand?
Coldwell Banker Real Estate commissioned a study that found that of the 1,300 agents and brokers polled, 87 percent agree that the economy is delaying baby boomers’ plans to sell their homes, confirming what many already believed. It could be asserted, however, that this could mean pent up demand, which is the position Trulia took in their recent American Dream Survey which revealed that two thirds of surveyed consumers over the age of 55 still anticipate they will purchase a second home in the future, so all is not lost.
Coldwell Banker’s study offered similar results, noting that 87 percent of agent/broker respondents said that they have baby boomer clients who already own or are looking to own a second property for investment.
Dividing the group led to very interesting results:
The study split boomers up into two groups, the first aged 47 to 55 and the other aged 56 to 65, which revealed very different results in buyer habits.
Regarding second homes, more than one in three younger boomers are interested in buying a second home while only one in five older boomers are interested in buying an investment property.
While 31 percent of the younger boomers are selling their current home to buy a larger home, only six percent of older boomers are moving up. It is more common that older boomers are downsizing, with a reported 80 percent doing so, compared to only 52 percent of younger boomers. As a single generation, 28 percent are downsizing to save money, but 49 percent want a simpler lifestyle. While a down economy is a major driver of decisions with this group, lifestyle is an even stronger market driver.
Housing preferences are different between the two groups as well with nearly half of the older boomers looking for a townhouse or condo, and a third of this segment preferring an “active adult community,” while 82 percent of younger boomers prefer single family homes.
“The baby boomer generation has driven the U.S. economy for years, and like many Americans, they may be anxious about their next real estate decision,” said Jim Gillespie, CEO of Coldwell Banker Real Estate. “I know baby boomers are a very diverse group and cannot be described in generalities, but our survey clearly indicates that those boomers who are financially secure are actively seeking to buy their retirement home, or a second home, and they are taking advantage of the opportunities and value available in today’s market.”
Austin tops the list of best places to buy a home
When looking to buy a home, taking the long view is important before making such a huge investment – where are the best places to make that commitment?
Looking at the bigger picture
(REALUOSO.COM) – Let us first express that although we are completely biased about Texas (we’re headquartered here, I personally grew up here), the data is not – Texas is the best. That’s a scientific fact. There’s a running joke in Austin that if there is a list of “best places to [anything],” we’re on it, and the joke causes eye rolls instead of humility (we’re sore winners and sore losers in this town).
That said, SelfStorage.com dug into the data and determined that the top 12 places to buy a home are currently Texas and North Carolina (and Portland, I guess you’re okay too or whatever).
They examined the nerdiest of numbers from the compound annual growth rate in inflation-adjusted GDP to cost premium, affordability, taxes, job growth, and housing availability.
“Buying a house is a big decision and a big commitment,” the company notes. “Although U.S. home prices have risen in the long term, the last decade has shown that path is sometimes full of twists, turns, dizzying heights and steep, abrupt falls. Today, home prices are stabilizing and increasing in most areas of the U.S.”
Average age of houses on the rise, so is it now better or worse to buy new?
With aging housing in America, are first-time buyers better off buying new or existing homes? The average age of a home is rising, as is the price of new housing, so a shift could be upon us.
The average home age is higher than ever
(REALUOSO.COM) – In a survey from the Department of Housing and Urban Development American Housing Survey (AHS), the median age of homes in the United States was 35 years old. In Texas, homes are a bit younger with the median age between 19 – 29 years. The northeast has the oldest homes, with the median age between 50 – 61 years. In 1985, the median age of a home was only 23 years.
With more houses around 40 years old, the National Association of Realtors asserts that homeowners will have to undertake remodeling and renovation projects before selling unless the home is sold as-is, in which case the buyer will be responsible to update their new residence. Even homeowners who aren’t selling will need to consider remodeling for structural and aesthetic reasons.
Prices of new homes on the rise
Newer homes cost more than they used to. The price differential between new homes and older homes has increased from 10 percent traditionally to around 37 percent in 2014. This is due to rising construction costs, scarcity of lots, and a low inventory of new homes that doesn’t meet the demand.
Are Realtors the real loser in the fight between Zillow Group and Move, Inc.?
The last year has been one of dramatic and rapid change in the real estate tech sector, but Realtors are vulnerable, and we’re worried.
Why Realtors are vulnerable to these rapid changes
(REALUOSO.COM) – Corporate warfare demands headlines in every industry, but in the real estate tech sector, a storm has been brewing for years, which in the last year has come to a head. Zillow Group and Move, Inc. (which is owned by News Corp. and operates ListHub, Realtor.com, TopProducer, and other brands) have been competing for a decade now, and the race has appeared to be an aggressive yet polite boxing match. Last year, the gloves came off, and now, they’ve drawn swords and appear to want blood.
Note: We’ll let you decide which company plays which role in the image above.
So how then, does any of this make Realtors the victims of this sword fight? Let’s get everyone up to speed, and then we’ll discuss.
1. Zillow poaches top talent, Move/NAR sues
It all started last year when the gloves came off – Move’s Chief Strategy Officer (who was also Realtor.com’s President), Errol Samuelson jumped ship and joined Zillow on the same day he phoned in his resignation without notice. He left under questionable circumstances, which has led to a lengthy legal battle (wherein Move and NAR have sued Zillow and Samuelson over allegations of breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and misappropriation of trade secrets), with the most recent motion being for contempt, which a judge granted to Move/NAR after the mysterious “Samuelson Memo” surfaced.
Salt was added to the wound when Move awarded Samuelson’s job to Move veteran, Curt Beardsley, who days after Samuelson left, also defected to Zillow. This too led to a lawsuit, with allegations including breach of contract, violation of corporations code, illegal dumping of stocks, and Move has sought restitution. These charges are extremely serious, but demanded slightly less attention than the ongoing lawsuit against Samuelson.
2. Two major media brands emerge
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