As a result, the number of buyers on the sidelines unable to purchase a home is greater than expected.
So where's the smooth road to housing today? The Market Enhancement Group, a research team based in Southern California, recently broke down the latest data supplied by the U.S. Census Bureau.
It came as no surprise that not only do seniors have a ton of equity, but nearly 5 million of them plan to sell and buy in the next three years. Home ownership for seniors (65 and older) is as high, or higher, than any other age group.And, because many of them plan to pay cash, there's no need to provide a seller with a letter of preapproval from a lender. No worries about FICO scores. Questions about size of down payment are largely irrelevant.
"In all the hoopla over youth, we're forgetting a very important segment of the population: seniors," the MEG report found. "They're not flashy and they're not the ones creating new trends on social media or with the Internet. But senior homebuyers and sellers have one unique characteristic that sets them apart from other generations: stability."
Here are some key findings from the MEG study:
- Overall, only 31 percent of U.S. homeowners own their home free and clear.
- Sixty-eight percent of all seniors own their home free and clear. The remaining 32 percent will own their homes free and clear in six years or fewer.
- Fifteen percent of all senior homeowners plan to sell their home in the next three years and buy another home; this translates into 4.9 million families and 9.8 million transaction "sides" for real estate salespersons.
- Ninety-four percent of those 4.9 million families selling their home plan to pay cash for their next home.
Only 1.6 percent of retirees between the ages of 55 and 65 moved across state lines in 2010, according to an analysis of Census Bureau data. Florida was once the retiree haven, attracting more than 1 in 4 retirees who did move. From 2005 to 2010, that number dropped to 1 in 7.
More retirees are opting to stay near where they once worked, moving out of the pricey real estate metro areas to places an hour or two outside of the city, where real estate prices and taxes tend to be cheaper.
While first-time homebuyers are absolutely critical to the housing industry, seniors should not be overlooked. They might not need as many loans, but they definitely are able to move.
Source: Inman News / Tom Kelly