The last few years have been filled with news stories about America’s aging population. Millions of Baby Boomers will all be reaching their retirement years from now through the end of 2025. Much has been speculated as to what their chief needs and desires will be and how they will be met. In the world of real estate, the recognition that millions of seniors are interested in living on their own in active, convenient, safe, and affordable communities has gotten the attention of developers and builders across the country.
Now it seems, that a new age group is in the radar. Recent information from the U.S. Census Bureau has identified that between 2012 and 2013, seven states experienced a drop in the median age of their residents. Five of these were Great Plains states. The age analysis certainly brings to light the huge contrast that exists when it comes to the age groups of the nation’s residents. In fact, the bureau showed that between the youngest median age group of 23.1, in Madison, ID to the highest median age group of 65.5, found in Sumter, FL-there’s a 42-year gap! Also consider that the median age for the U.S. overall is 37.6 years.
In real estate and mortgage circles, such information is a significant part of the puzzle in identifying the needs of the nation’s future home buyers. In addition to age, other demographic data tracked by the U.S. Census Bureau includes details regarding race and sex.
In an effort to explain the shift towards the younger groups in those five states, the director of the U.S. Census Bureau, John Thompson, explained, “We’re seeing the demographic impact of two booms. The population in the Great Plains energy boom states is becoming younger and more male as workers move in seeking employment in the oil and gas industry, while the U.S. as a whole continues to age as the youngest of the baby boom generation enters their 50s.”
The five cities that recorded the youngest median populations were:
- Madison, ID: 23.1
- Radford, VA: 23.3
- Chattahoochee, GA: 23.9
- Harrisonburg, VA: 24.2
- Utah, UT: 24.2
For the states that saw a drop in the median age, the average age of the residents is 36.607. Those states are: Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, and Wyoming. According to the report, “The largest decline in the nation was in North Dakota, with a decline of 0.6 years between 2012 and 2013.”
In terms of the nation’s housing market, it is interesting to compare the ages of those who are actually investing in property. Last year’s publication entitled “Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends” was published by the National Association of Realtors. The findings were based on a survey sent out in July 2012 to 93,502 recent home buyers. Here’s a look at a few of those findings:
At the time of the survey, home buyers born between the years 1980 and 2000, also referred to as Millennials, Generation Y and Generation Next, comprised 28 percent of home buyers in the survey sample. Their median age was 28.
Thirty-one percent of the recent home buyers in the 2012 survey were between the ages of 33 and 47. This group is known as Generation X, and was born between 1965 and 1979. The median age of the respondents was 39.
This information falls in line with previous findings from the 2009 American Survey Housing Report conducted by the National Association of Home Builders. At that time, sixty-two percent of the first-time buyers were under age 35, while only 6 percent of these householders were over age 55. The NAHB analysts speculated that the age of the nation’s first time home buyer is becoming younger because of perks such as the Home Buyer Tax Credit, which is specifically for first time home buyers.
Another point that the NAHB information made clear is that younger home buyers are not shying away from the commitment of a mortgage. In fact, the report states, “Forty-one percent of the 8.4 million who purchased a home in the last two years were first-time buyers. This share is up from 35 percent in both 2005 and 2007.”
To read more about these fascinating demographic findings and trends, please use the source links below.
- U.S. Census press release
- Realtor.org article on generational trends
- NAHB study
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