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The Times Are A Changing: Homebuying Trends Differ Between Generations

Doug Page
Apr 05, 2022
Global Housing Market

Homebuyers are younger this year.

A new report today shows homebuyers and homeowners will handle the real estate purchases and financing differently – based on their generation.

The survey, released by ServiceLink, looked at generational trends among 1,000 homebuyers and homeowners, seeing changing attitudes about the role of technology as well as the actions they will take this year.

Key findings show that homebuyer demographics are becoming younger, with Gen Zers (born between 1997 and 2012) and millennials (born between 1981 and 1996) playing a larger role in this year’s housing market.

  • 26% are likely to purchase a new home this year compared to 12% of Gen Xers and 6% of baby boomers
  • 32% plan to refinance this year compared to 23% of Gen Xers (born between 1965 and 1980) and 9% of baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964).
  • 23% would purchase a home without seeing it in person first compared to 16% of Gen Xers and 5% of baby boomers.
  • 55% either have bought, or are willing to buy at auction compared to 50% of Gen Xers and 23% of baby boomers.

The report also shows that buyer fatigue is leading prospective homebuyers to put off buying a house this year, with 24% deciding against buying a home this year and 28% of those surveyed saying they’re doing so because of low housing inventory.

Another key finding shows that auction is gaining traction among younger homebuyers, with 55% of Gen Zers and millennials either willing or have purchased a house at an auction compared to 50% of Gen Xers and 23% baby boomers. The biggest motivation for buying a home via auction include potential cost savings, a faster homebuying process and being able to bid remotely via an app or online.

The survey also shows that homebuyers see technology as improving the homebuying experience, with 83% of baby boomers liking the convenience the most compared to 66% of Gen Zers and millennials and 70% of Gen Xers.

The refi boom shows signs of slowing with 35% of Gen Zers and millennials more likely to refinance their mortgages compared to 19% of Gen Xers and 16% of baby boomers.

Sixty-four percent of those surveyed said they were either not very likely or not likely to refinance their mortgage in 2022.

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