Rising rents prompt a rising share of young buyers to purchase a home

People often decide to buy a home because of life events, such as getting married, having children, or changing jobs. But a survey by the National Association of Realtors finds that an increasing number of young buyers are opting to start a home search because they are tired of seeing their rent go up.

Twenty-three percent of respondents between 18 and 34 said an increase in their rent led them to start looking for a home to purchase. This was the top reason that the youngest buyers had decided to purchase a home.

Data from the Department of Housing and Urban Development shows that rents are up in 85 of the 100 largest metro areas in the United States. In nine metro areas, rents climbed by double-digit percentages in the past year.

Younger buyers were also more likely to view a home as a way to personally express themselves, with 13 percent saying this was a major consideration in buying a home. Only 9 percent of those ages 35 to 54 and 6 percent of the 55 and up age group said personal expression was a key consideration in their home purchase.

Across all age groups, people were most likely to look for a new residence because they were tired of their current home. About one in four respondents gave this reason for buying a home.

In the 55 and up age group, more than one in five respondents said their main goal in purchasing a home was privacy. Eighteen percent said they wanted the physical comforts of a home, while 15 percent wanted housing stability.

Younger buyers were more concerned about fulfilling the needs of their family, with 17 percent of those under the age of 55 saying this was a main concern. These buyers were less concerned about privacy, with only 12 percent saying it was one of their chief priorities in getting a home

The standard three-bedroom, two-bathroom home remained the most popular option sought by buyers. Forty-four percent of respondents said they were looking for a residence with three bedrooms, while 93 percent wanted at least two bathrooms on the property. Twenty-seven percent wanted the home to have a garage, 24 percent were looking for an updated kitchen, and 20 percent wanted to find a home with an open floor plan.

Older respondents favored a single-floor living, with 28 percent of those saying they would prefer a ranch style home. The next most popular choice for the oldest age group was a contemporary home, favored by 12 percent.

Millennials were more likely to be looking for contemporary and colonial homes, each the preferred choice of 10 percent of respondents between the ages of 18 and 34. Only 6 percent said they would want a ranch home.

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