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7 Important Facts About Today’s Home Sellers

by Peter Thomas Ricci

What are the characteristics that define home sellers in 2015?

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The last couple weeks, we’ve been analyzing quite a few findings about homebuyers in NAR’s newest Generational Trends report, but what of home sellers? What makes them tick?

Here are seven important facts that NAR uncovered:

1. A Gen X World – Though Millennials make up the largest share of homebuyers, Gen Xers dominate the selling terrain, with 27 percent of home sellers in 2014 being part of Gen X; Boomers, for their part, were not too shabby, with Younger Boomers making up 20 percent of sellers and Older Boomers making up 23 percent.

2. Married Millennials – In a very interesting twist, Millennials comprised the largest share of married couples, among home sellers, at 88 percent. So say the least, that flies right in the face of the Millennial stereotype of thirty-something singles! Also interesting, Older Boomers had both the lowest share of married couples (at 69 percent) and the highest share of single female sellers at 22 percent (compared to 6 percent for Millennials).

3. Freshies – It’s no surprise that the vast majority of Millennial sellers are first-time sellers, but the percentage is still quite high at 75 percent; meanwhile, just 8 percent of Older Boomers are first-time sellers.

4. Papa is a Rolling Stone – Older buyers are far more likely to move than younger buyers. Twenty-two percent of Older Boomer sellers, for instance, end up buying a home in a different region, compared to just 14 percent of Millennials and 12 percent of Gen Xers.

5. Youthful Aspirations – Consistent with our recent story on the topic, younger home sellers aspire to move-up to larger homes. In fact, both Millennial and Gen X sellers ended up moving to homes that were at least 500 square feet larger, while all other generations moved into smaller homes.

6. Differing Reasons – Between their existing home being too small and moving for a job relocation, Millennials and Gen Xers sold their homes for those reasons 53 and 50 percent of the time, respectively. Meanwhile, 32 percent of Older Boomers sold to be closer to family, as did 82 percent of Silent Generation sellers.

7. Ghost of Negative Equity – Finally, negative equity’s ghost continues to haunt the housing market. Sixteen percent of sellers wanted to sell their home earlier than they did, but were stalled because of negative equity; specific to the generations, that predicament afflicted 23 percent of Gen Xers and 17 percent of Millennials and Younger Boomers.

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