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Median Homebuyer Age Has Remained ‘Remarkably Steady’ Over the Years

home-for-sale-sign-threeDespite rising shares of homebuyers age 50 and over and shrinking percentages of homeowners ages 35 to 50 and under 30, the median age of homebuyers has remained “remarkably steady” in the last decade, according to a commentary from the National Association of Realtors.

The median homebuyer age was 39 years old from 2005 to 2010 and 41 years old from 2011 to 2014, according to government data in the recently released American Community Survey (ACS). Data provided by the soon-to-be released 2015 Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers by NAR shows only a slightly older median age, according to Danielle Hale, Director of Housing Statistics with NAR.

“In spite of the small changes in homebuyer shares by age, the government data shows a remarkably steady median age over the years,” Hale said.

11-4 NAR graph 2The ACS, which gathers information from approximately three million American consumers, found that the share of homebuyers (owners who moved in the previous year) age 50 and over was larger in 2014 than it was in 2005. During the same period, the homebuyer share for the age groups of under 30 and 35 to 50 has declined.

The Census Bureau takes the ACS each month and does not necessarily target homebuyers, but provides data on those who own their home and have moved into the home within the previous year. The data in the ACS is such that homeowners who moved recently could have moved during any month in a 24-month window centered on January of the year the survey is taken. NAR's Profile of Homebuyers and Sellers targets homebuyers who purchased their home at any time from July to June of the year the survey was taken. Still, Hale said, "the data between the surveys is remarkably consistent."

11-4 NAR graphThe good news for the housing industry is that the share of millennial homebuyers (age 30 to 35) has been on the rise in recent years, rising from 14.5 percent in 2011 to 14.7 percent in 2012, 15.4 percent in 2013, and 15.8 percent in 2014, according to the NAR data. While the data showed that most states mirrored the trend of the rising share of older homebuyers from 2005 to 2014, the median homebuyer aged actually declined in nine states and the District of Columbia during that period. The largest swing occurred in North Dakota, where the median homebuyer age declined from 41.3 in 2005 to 34.6 nine years later in 2014.



About Author: Brian Honea

Brian Honea's writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master's degree from Amberton University in Garland.

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