Baby Boomers Are the Richest Home Sellers

  • Michelle Almeyda Wiedemuth
  • 04/8/21
Baby boomers tended to make up the majority of sellers last year—at 43%—and they also saw the highest profits, too.

Overall, home sellers of all age groups who sold their homes last year saw a median gain of $66,000 more than what they originally purchased for—a $6,000 increase compared to the previous year. But for sellers ages 66 to 74, they saw a median gain of $100,000 in equity, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ “2021 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends” report.

“In a real estate market that is tipped in favor of sellers, boomers and older homeowners are really the ones holding the cards,” says Danielle Hale, realtor.com®’s chief economist.

As the housing market surges, homeowners who’ve been in their homes the longest tend to see the highest profits at resale. Younger baby boomers (those between the ages of 56 to 65) tended to live in their homes a median of 14 years whereas older segment of baby boomers (those between the ages of 66 to 74) had lived in their homes a median of 16 years, according to NAR’s report. The median tenure in a home for the overall population is 10 years.

The primary reason baby boomers cited for selling their home: To purchase a similarly sized home closer to family members and friends. The second most popular reason to sell was to downsize.

The following is a chart broken down by age group of the median equity earned on a home recently sold, according to NAR’s report.
 
 
Millennial buyers 22 to 30 years (Younger Millennials) and buyers 31 to 40 years (Older Millennials) continue to make up the largest share of home buyers at 37%: Older Millennials at 23% and Younger Millennials at 14% of the share of home buyers. Millennials have been the largest share of buyers since the 2014 report. Buyers 41 to 55 (Gen Xers) consisted of 24% of recent home buyers. This group continues to be the highest earning home buyers with a median income of $113,300 in 2019. For the report, buyers 56 to 65 (Younger Baby Boomers) and buyers 66 to 74 (Older Baby Boomers) were broken into two separate categories as they have differing demographics and buying behaviors. Buyers 56 to 65 consisted of 18% of recent buyers and buyers 66 to 74 consisted of 14% of recent buyers. Buyers 75 to 95 (The Silent Generation) represented the smallest share of buyers at 5%.
 
All generations of buyers continued to utilize a real estate agent or broker as their top resource to help them buy and sell their home.

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