For the last 36 years, Rick and Laura Zinnick had a life in Nevada. But when their son and grandchildren decided to relocate to Oklahoma City, the Zinnicks decided to follow them, putting their four-bedroom house on one-third of an acre up for sale.
The decision worked out well. That house sold for $480,000, giving the Zinnicks a windfall. They found a more manageable, one-story home in Oklahoma for $275,000 that was close to their family. And for the first time in their lives, they paid all cash, dodging soaring mortgage rates.
“This move was meant for us,” said Laura Zinnick, 77. “I’m so glad we’ve been able to buy this house later in our life.”
The Zinnick’s aren’t alone: Older buyers are prevailing in America’s hot housing market. This year, the median age for a repeat buyer – someone who has bought a home before – was 58, according to data released Monday by the National Association of Realtors. That’s down just a smidgen from last year’s record of 59, but it’s up significantly from 36 years old in 1981, when NAR began conducting its survey.
Lately, grandparents have been edging out younger buyers who are struggling to get into the market for the first time. Nowadays, first-time buyers make up 32 percent of the market, well below an average of 38 percent since 1981, according to NAR. They’re also more likely to be in their mid-30s today, in contrast to their late 20s in the early 1980s.
The result is yet another quirk of the post-covid economy, and in particular, a housing market that has proved remarkably strong. As the Federal…