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Who Are Today’s Homebuyers?

Friday, May 4, 2018

By Kelsey Ramírez

New demographics have emerged as the leaders in the home buying market in 2018, according to a new report from Veritas Urbis Economics.

Veritas Urbis offers real estate and urban economic consulting services for developers, homebuilders, local government, and others, and was founded by economist Ralph McLaughlin, formerly the chief economist for Trulia. The company says it provides comprehensive yet digestible analysis of real estate markets across the United States and abroad.

Now, according to its new report, “The Changing Face of Homebuyers in the U.S.,” it showed that homebuyers are increasingly “women, graying, and without children.” Those are three separate categories, not one.

The first point the report observed was that women are taking a higher market share when it comes to buying homes. The share of homebuyers comprised of women increased to 46.4% in 2017. Compared to just a generation ago, in 1981, women made up only 18.9% of the market share.

In fact, a rising share of these women are also single. The share of single women homebuyers reached an all-time high of 18.9% in 2017, compared to the last generation when this demographic made up just 9.1% of homebuyers in 1981.

The second category to increase is households over the age of 55, which increased to 27.8% in 2017, compared to 16.1% in 1981. But even as the share of homebuyers among older generations increases, the share of homebuyers that are under 35 hit an all-time low, falling to 33.7% in 2017. Back in 1981, this demographic sat at an all-time high of 52%.

Many experts often blame the lack of Millennials in the housing market to their choice to delay having a family. This lack of life events, getting married, having children, etc., also serves to keep them renting longer than previous generations – or so experts say.

As it turns out, having children may be becoming less of an incentive to buy a home. The share of homebuyers with children fell to an all-time low of 40.7% in 2017, down from 51.4% in 1981. And the share of homebuyers made up of single-person households increased to 21.2% in 2017, up from 15.3% in 1981.

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