CHICAGO (3/25/14)--A younger homebuyer sees a home as an investment while older purchasers are scaling their home to meet a changing lifestyle, according to an analysis by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
Eight of 10 recent buyers made their purchase decisions citing a "good financial investment," although the range was much higher (87%) for purchasers age 33 and younger than for buyers over 68 (74%).
For Gen Y, those under 33, homeownership is an aspiration and a long-term investment, said Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist.
"However, the challenges of tight credit, limited inventory, eroding affordability and high debt loads have limited the capacity of young people to own," Yun said. Of the 20% of Millennial buyers who took longer to save for a down payment, 56% cited student loan debt as the biggest obstacle.
Gen Y is the largest share of home buyers at 31%, followed by Gen X at 30%. Younger Boomers, ages 49-58, and Older Boomers, ages 59-67, purchased homes at 16% and 14%, respectively.
Older buyers cited being closer to family or friends, retirement or downsizing their home as reasons behind their purchases.
The home-buying process begins online for all generations, though, where prospective purchasers search for properties.