The 5 Big Reasons that Consumers Buy Homes

by Peter Thomas Ricci

Why do consumers buy homes, nowadays?


There are many reasons that someone may want to purchase a home, but among America’s homebuying public, which reasons are the most common?

According to the new Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report from NAR, the answer to that question depends more on the buyer’s age than anything else.

Here were some of NAR’s main findings:

  • Thirty percent of homebuyers purchased a property for the simple reason to own a home of their own, by far the most prominent reason among NAR’s respondents.
  • That reason was particularly profound for Millennial buyers – 48 percent of buyers aged 35 and younger cited it as their main reason.
  • Among Millennials, there was no other overwhelming reason to buy. Interestingly, 4 percent of Millennial buyers all cited the following reason: desire for a better area; the current affordability of homes; to establish a household; and the desire to be closer to a job, school or transit.
  • Although Gen X buyers still want to own (31 percent cited that reason), the desire for a larger home and job-related moves were very prominent at 16 and 13 percent, respectively.
  • For Younger Boomer buyers, job-related moves and the desire for a smaller home were cited by 12 and 10 percent of respondents, respectively; also, 8 percent cited a change in family situation.
  • Finally, for Older Boomers, the most common reason was retirement at 20 percent, a good indicator of the burgeoning active adult market; similarly, 17 percent bought to be closer to family and friends.

Our chart below compiles the top five reasons for each generation:

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