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Key Insights Into What Buyers Want

Monday, July 23, 2018

From the Zillow Group

Owning a home is a dream for many, but there are some differences between generational buyers when it comes to their home and community preferences.

Based on data from the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends Report 2017, here’s a look into what buyers across generations want.

Home Preferences

Other than having a home within their initial price range, the top requirements across all generations are air conditioning and the home having their preferred number of bedrooms and baths.

For more than half of Gen Xers (aged 38-52, 51%), private outdoor space is the next important requirement. The right number of bathrooms is fourth on the list for 58% of Baby Boomers (aged 53-72).

Considering fixed incomes or stricter budgets, a whopping 81% of silent generation buyers (aged 73+) put finding a home within their price range as their top priority. They also place nearly identical values on air conditioning (64%), their preferred number of bathrooms (63%), and a floor plan that meets their needs (63%).

The takeaway: Market home preferences by generation. Gen Xers place high value on family-friendly features, like the desired number of bedrooms and private outdoor space. Baby boomers crave functionality: a floor plan that meets their needs, the right number of bedrooms and bathrooms, and air conditioning. Silent generation buyers prioritize value and comfort: finding a home within their price range, air conditioning, the right number of bathrooms and their preferred floor plan.

Maintenance technician working on homeowner's AC unit.

Community preferences

What are home buyers looking for in their next community? And where are they coming from? Well, 47% of new construction home buyers are moving from a different city entirely. Significantly larger shares of baby boomers and silent generation buyers (24% and 20%, respectively) move to a different state (same country) than Gen Xers (9%) and millennials (8%) do. Again, age might factor in here, as older buyers could be looking for a retirement home that’s closer to family or in a warmer climate.

Baby boomers, silent generation buyers and Gen Xers are nearly identical in what they require from their neighborhoods. Their top three are safety, off-street parking or a garage, and being in their preferred neighborhood. For the next requirement, however, 36% of Gen Xers want to live in their preferred school district, and 31% each of baby boomers and the silent generation need proximity to shopping, services and leisure activities.

All three generations want to feel connected to the place they live. Of those who bought a new construction home, 80% of silent generation buyers, 71% of Gen Xers and 64% of baby boomers chose a home that was part of a larger community.

The takeaway: Amp up the safety and location of your community as a selling point for still-working households or for those seeking a post-job lifestyle. Gen Xers want their home in a family-friendly location in their desired school district and a safe neighborhood. Baby boomers prioritize safety, too, and being in their preferred neighborhood. Silent generation buyers require proximity to amenities.

Also, because nearly half of new construction buyers are coming from out of town, think about how and where your marketing can reach buyers outside your area — namely, online. Unless they’re visiting the area before deciding to move there, these buyers aren’t traveling around and seeing your local ads and billboards on a regular basis.

For more insights, click to view the infographic on desired home features, watch this video, or visit Zillow's resource center. To learn more about how you can leverage Zillow Group’s industry leading data to market your homes online, visit the builder advertising page, or call at (877) 419-0589.

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