The Top Five Homebuying Demographics for 2024

Top Five List

A typical year for the U.S. housing market sees approximately five million existing home sales and prices increase by roughly 4%. But as you know, many years have passed since we have seen anything market-related that can be categorized as typical.  

The National Association of REALTORS® recently crunched the numbers for 2023 and the data was even more disappointing that expected. Total home sales came in at 4.09 million, an 18.7% decline from 2022. This was the weakest year for sales since 1995 and the biggest annual decline since 2007, which was the start of the nationwide housing slump of the late 2000s. Meanwhile, the median national home price did climb—but only by 1% to $389,800.

2022 offered much of the same: As mortgage interest rates rose, eventually doubling by year’s end, sales plummeted 18% year-over-year.

Truly these are atypical times for the housing market. And while industry experts are forecasting better days ahead—the spring season is expected to be busier than last year’s—the current challenging conditions have forced many of us in the industry to evaluate our existing marketing plans and implement new strategies.

One impactful strategy is to target a specific homebuying demographic. The more clearly this demographic is defined, the better you can understand how and where to reach these potential customers. In a way, it’s all about narrowing your focus so you can expand your marketing reach!

With this strategy in mind, here is information on what we believe are the top five homebuying demographics for 2024. Check it out!

#1: Single men & single women

Much has changed in the housing market over the past few decades—everything from how borrowers shop for homes to how they apply for mortgages—and one of the biggest shifts has been regarding how Americans view the concept of homeownership. Owning a home with a partner is no longer the accepted norm for today’s buyers, as a recent PennyMac survey showed.

More than half of the survey’s takers said that waiting for a partner to purchase a home is an outdated concept (54% for female respondents, 48% for male). Further evidence of the growing power of this buying demographic can be found in a recent study by Pew Research Center. An impressive 35.2 million homes are owned by unmarried Americans. Of that total, 58% are owned by single women and 42% by single men.

However, the gap between the sexes is narrowing. In 2000, single women owned 64% of the almost 25 million homes owned by unmarried Americans while single men owned 36%.

#2: Retirees

Cooling inflation and increased Social Security benefits led to a jump in the number of Americans who retired last year. This was the key takeaway from HireAHelper’s annual moving report.

Retirement moves skyrocketed 44% last year to a three-year high of 338,000. HireAHelper also found that retirees are more likely to move states than other demographics: 25% of retirement moves in 2023 crossed state lines compared to 18% of moves overall. 

Florida was the destination for 11% of all retirement movers, #1 among all states. South Carolina, New Jersey, Texas, and Washington rounded out the top five.

#3: Buyers wanting fixer-uppers

#4: Buyers seeking tiny homes/pre-fabricated homes

Perpetually high mortgage interest rates and ever-climbing prices have forced many prospective buyers to consider new and unique ways to achieve their homeownership goals. A new RE/MAX survey found that 80% of consumers planning to purchase a home in the next 12 months adjusted their buying plans due to market conditions. And the two most popular options buyers would consider are fixer-uppers and tiny homes/fabricated homes. Here are the numbers:

  • Fifty-six percent of respondents said they would possibly buy a fixer-upper. Among this group, 73% wanted the opportunity to purchase a home with a lower cost.
  • Thirty-nine percent of respondents said they would consider buying a tiny home or prefabricated home. Eighty-two percent of people in this group said they would purchase either type of home as a more affordable option.

With current market conditions making the allure of a fixer-upper more appealing,® recently listed the U.S. metros with the most options for buyers interested in a fixer-uppers.

And if you have customers who are interested in tiny homes/fabricated homes, Dwell compiled a list of last year’s most cutting-edge designs.

#5: First-time homebuyers

As competition for homes receded due to higher borrowing costs, first-time buyers had more opportunities to enter the market. According to the National Association of REALTORS®, the share of first-time homebuyers grew from a historic low of 26% in 2022 to 32% last year.

Here is other important statistics to know about this powerful buying group:

  • The median age for a first-time home buyer in 2023 was 35—down from 36 in 2022.
  • The typical down payment for a first-time homebuyer was 8%, the highest it’s been since 1997.
  • Among current homeowners, 14% used a first-time homebuyer grant or assistance program to help with the down payment and closing costs for their first home.

Ready to connect?

Are you looking to boost your customer engagement levels in 2024? Then Volly’s digital mortgage solutions may be right for you.

We are an industry-leading marketing partner that can better position your business for success in today’s ever-challenging housing market. But don’t just take our word for it. Request a demo today to see for yourself!