ORLANDO, Fla., Nov. 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- An increasingly diverse pool of future homebuyers is poised to transform the real estate industry in coming years, and there are resources available for Realtors ® to stay attuned to what those buyers will want today and in the future. That's according to speakers at a buyer preferences forum organized by the REALTOR ® University Richard J. Rosenthal Center for Real Estate Studies session here at the 2016 REALTORS® Conference & Expo.
NAR's Jessica Lautz, managing director of survey research and communications, discussed the demographic characteristics, home preferences and livability needs of current and future buyers. She was joined by Rodney Harrell, director of livability thought leadership at AARP, who addressed attendees about the components that make for truly livable neighborhoods for households of all ages. Lautz kicked off the session identifying the changing demographics in the U.S. well-positioned to shake the real estate industry in the next several years. Those include millennials recently overtaking baby boomers as the largest generation, single men and women making up the same share of the population as married couples, and the country edging closer to a minority-majority population within the next couple of decades. "Future buyers will increasingly be a mix of minorities, multi-generational households and same-sex couples," said Lautz. Highlighting some of the key findings from NAR's just-released 2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, Lautz said this year's survey revealed the welcoming return of both first-time buyers and single female buyers. In the years since the Great Recession, their ability to buy has been hampered by many financial hurdles. "Repaying student debt, rising rents, flat wages and affordability pressures have been obstacles for young adults attempting to buy their first home," added Lautz. "However, their fortunes are starting to turn around and both groups are expected to make up a growing share of sales in coming years."