Home Buyers, 34 Years and Under: 27 Percent of Residential Sales in December 2015

Buyers who are 34 years old and under accounted for 27 percent of home sales in December 2015, according to the December 2015 REALTORS® Confidence Index Survey Report.

The participation of buyers who are 34 years and under has remained essentially unchanged since the housing market’s breakout recovery in 2012. Income growth has lagged behind the increase in house prices, making it harder to qualify for a mortgage and save for a downpayment, especially for someone with student loans.[1] Buyers 35 to 55 years old accounted for nearly half of sales, while buyers 56 and over represented 24 percent of home sales. Older buyers are more likely to have better credit profiles and the savings or home equity to use as downpayment than younger buyers.

Nationally, buyers 34 years and under accounted for 28 percent of all buyers in calendar year 2015. Younger buyers comprise a larger portion of the residential market in Utah (39 percent), Pennsylvania (38 percent), New York (36 percent), Ohio (35 percent), Illinois (36 percent), and Colorado (33 percent).

age distribution34 and under

[1] Federal Reserve Board, Survey of Households and Economic Decision-making, October 2014. Among renter respondents, 50 percent reported they do not have the downpayment to purchase a home, and 28 percent reported they cannot qualify for a mortgage. See http://www.federalreserve.gov/econresdata/2014-report-economic-well-being-us-households-201505.pdf