BABY BOOMERS POISED TO INFLUENCE THE HOUSING MARKET

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Baby-Boomers-Poised-to-Influence-the-Housing-Market-240x170Whether they decide to move from their current homes or age in place, the decisions baby boomers and other older homeowners make during the next few years could significantly impact the single-family housing market. Today, baby boomers and other homeowners age 55 and older control almost two-third (or about $8 trillion) of the nation’s home equity. There also are more than 67 million 55-plus homeowners.

The new “Freddie Mac 55+ Survey”—which polled 4,900 homeowners born before 1961 regarding their current housing situations, plans and willingness to help their grown children become homeowners —found that this generation has the potential to generate significant new demand for mortgage credit and to tighten home-buying competition, especially for millennials and other first-time home buyers.

Here are some of the survey’s key findings:

• Consistent majorities said they are “very satisfied” with their current homes (64 percent), their communities (59 percent) and quality of life (54 percent). Nearly 90 percent of the respondents said people their age should own a home.

• Seventy-six percent of homeowners were confident they would have a comfortable retirement. These feelings were echoed across racial lines and shared by 55-plus homeowners who are still working, as well as retirees, and the 44 percent of homeowners surveyed had a mortgage.

• Consistent majorities said homeownership makes financial sense for married people with children (96 percent) and without children (85 percent), as well as single people with children (79 percent) and without children (53 percent). Almost 25 percent of the respondents also said they have offered down payment assistance to someone.

• This works out to an estimated 42 million homeowners who don’t plan to move. About a quarter (23 percent) indicated they would need major renovations to keep their homes accessible and a third (34 percent) would pay for improvements by refinancing their mortgage or taking out a second loan or home equity line of credit.

• Although movers were in the minority, it was a big minority. According to the survey, almost 40 percent of all 55-plus homeowners said they would like to move at least once more if they had complete control over it. This isn’t just about downsizing to a rental or nursing home; 19 million planned to buy a home and nearly 8 million expected to move within the next four years. Half of the 19 million likely movers also expected to buy less expensive homes.

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HOW SINGLE WOMEN ARE CHANGING THE HOME BUYING MARKET

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How-Single-Women-Are-Changing-the-Home-Buying-Market-240x170Single women are quickly becoming major players in the home buying market. According to the National Association of Realtors’ recent report on Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends, single women made 60 percent more of recent home purchases than single men across all age groups. Single women also have emerged as largest home buying demographic after married couples.

And this trend of single female home ownership is only expected to continue in the coming years, thanks to various factors including a decreasing gender-pay gap that is giving women increased financial independence. In some areas, their incomes are even increasing faster than their male counterparts.

So, as the housing market continues to change, marketing to single women of all age groups is going to become highly important. From baby boomers to millennials, this means offering them a variety of choices and designs, along with features such as easy parking, safety and overall affordability—all with an obvious appeal for all single females. Here is a look at what each of these age groups is likely to desire when entering the housing market.

Baby boomers
NAR found that single female baby boomers buy twice as many homes as single men do and account for one out of every five houses sold in their own age group, making it wise to consider their preferences. Boomers tend to live in the suburbs and have more space than other generations who live in smaller city apartments. Custom hardwood cabinetry, granite or marble countertops, as well as the ability to customize all of a home’s features, are attractive options for single female baby boomers. This consumer will not turn away from affordable luxury, like a glass-gated walk-in shower or custom bathtub.

Millennials
This age group tends to live in smaller spaces within major cities, close to their workplaces and social centers. Millennial women also tend to get married later and are well educated. Their demand for housing likely will increase, along with their salaries. McMansion-style designs will not sell well within this demographic, which seeks to differentiate themselves from their parents. They tend to favor unique, stylish, but practical, designs. This could mean an in-kitchen cocktail/bar space for entertaining or a shower with a top-mounted rainfall shower head that adds comfort and class to a small space. Location will be particularly important for this group. On the upper end of this market, a preference for condos in dense communities with vibrant street life is expected.

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