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Marketing Tip: Pay More Attention to Gen Xers

wav pay more attention gen xersThe National Association of REALTORS research experts continuously share housing data with insights that sometimes surprise or delight. Their recent look into Gen Xers did both – for me at least.

Here are some terrific nuggets that I believe has one major takeaway. It seems all the attention has been on Millennials (or Gen Y), when perhaps we should be spending more time focusing on this ready-to-buy market, the Gen Xers.

"Defined as buyers between 39 and 54 years old, they now make up the SECOND largest share of home buyers by generation, at 24 percent of all home buyers in 2018," NAR says. Some of the stats make this market a super target:

  • The median age is 45 years old
  • They were born between 1965 and 1979
  • 56 percent have one or more child under 18 living at home
  • 23 percent have two children under 18 living at home
  • 65 percent are married

Why do they buy?

The American dream (desire to own a home or a larger one) and life happens: job relocation.

The surprise and delightful part? The NAR says, "Gen Xers surpassed Younger Boomers this year and purchased the greatest share of multi-generational homes at 16 percent." That tells you a lot about this generation.

Want some more reasons to focus your marketing on Gen Xers? Try these statistics:

  • 88 percent buy DETACHED single-family homes, not condos or townhomes.
  • Gen Xers make up the largest demographic group that purchases detached single-family homes.
  • They have the highest median household income at $111,100.
  • The reasons for the higher income: More double income couples.
  • They purchased homes commensurate with their incomes.
  • They bought the largest homes in square footage with a median of 2100 square feet.

Ready for the drumroll?

They bought the most expensive homes among all generations.

Some more fresh data if you need extra motivation:

  • Gen Xers are the most racially and ethnically diverse group of home buyers
  • One in four identified as a race other than White/Caucasian
  • This group has the highest percentage of home buyers that speak another language besides English

Gen Xers also are very home-buying savvy. They purchased new homes, thus avoiding renovations and major repairs and replacements, and previously owned homes for a better overall value.

  • They don't move far – can you say loyal repeat customer? The median distance from their previous home is 11 miles
  • Gen Xers are the second most likely to buy in neighborhoods that are convenient to schools
  • They are highly systematic, searching for a median of 10 weeks, viewing an average of 10 homes

How do they buy?

Most Gen Xers used savings and proceeds from a previous home sale for their down payment. Here's another fact most people missed. Many Gen Xers had to wait to buy due to too much debt. In fact, 24 percent of Gen Xers were delayed five years, and 30 percent were delayed more than five years from buying a home.

When you look at just the buyers who said that saving for the down payment was the most challenging step in the buying process, 46 percent had credit card debt, and 21 percent had childcare expenses. "That's important," NAR says, "because it is more than other generations."

And what about student debt? NAR found Gen Xers also averaged $30,000 in student debt, the highest median amount and equal to that of Older Millennials.

But guess which group represents the largest number of home SELLERS?

Gen Xers at 25 percent. And Gen X sellers are even better positioned financially: They had the highest median household income among sellers at $123,600. "Once again, Gen X sellers were the most racially and ethnically diverse of the generations," says NAR.

Why do Gen Xers sell? No surprises in the list here: their homes were too small, a job relocation, a change in family situation, and they wanted to move to a better neighborhood.

Here's one final reason to enjoy marketing to this group:

Gen Xers canceled vacations more than other age groups to save for a home. They clearly are passionate and motivate to be homeowners. What's not to like about that?

To view the original article, visit the WAV Group blog.