Real Estate Trends 2023: The Home Sale

08, December, 2023

In 2013, the National Association of Realtors® (NAR) started producing an annual report on buying and selling trends across generations. It’s full of good information, but it’s also 130-plus pages long. We’re sharing highlights from the 2023 report to save you from the search. (If you want to read the full report, there’s a link at the end of this article.)

One note: You’ll see numbers described as median. That means the number is the middle value, and there were as many numbers above that number as below.

Some of what we’re sharing may seem obvious, such as almost half of all Silent Generation (77-97 years old) sellers sold to move closer to friends or family. Other information may be more surprising, for example 3% of all home sellers were Gen Z (18-23 years old). It’s not a huge percentage, and we don’t know why they had a home to sell, but it’s an early age to be involved in real estate.

Home seller demographics

We’ll start with the basics: How old were home sellers, what was their family composition, and how did their education and income break out.

Age of home sellers

We already said that 3% of home sellers were Gen Z. By comparison, the highest percentage of sellers (30%) were Younger Baby Boomers (58-67 years old), bookended by Older Baby Boomers (68-76 years old) at 22%, and Gen X (43-57 years old) at 20%. Those three groups accounted for almost three-quarters of all home sellers, and their primary reason for selling was – to be closer to friends and family. (You may be sensing a trend here.)

Family composition

Home sellers were largely married couples, with over four-fifths of Millennials leading the way. Single females were the next largest group among all sellers, at 16%. What about families with kids? This falls as you’d expect, with one twist. Millennials were the most likely to have children under 18 living in their homes, followed by Gen X. Percentages dropped for Baby Boomers, but then rose again for the Silent Generation. Interestingly, 10% were living in households with a child under 18.

Education level & income

One thing stands out in the comparison of education levels: People with less than a high school education accounted for only 2% of all sellers. The highest percentage of sellers across all generations (26%) had a high school diploma, but the largest category in a single generation was 45% of Younger Millennials (24-32 years old) with a bachelor’s degree.

Median income for sellers peaked at $118,060 for Older Millennials (33-42 years old). The Silent Generation were the lowest at $54,630, presumably reflecting their reliance on fixed incomes.

2023 home sale trends

Next, let’s look at homes: What locations were popular, what type of home was most common, why did sellers sell – and more.

Where homes were selling

The majority of homes were sold in suburban settings, represented most strongly by 41% of Gen X. An equal percentage of Silent Generation sellers lived in rural areas, which were less popular overall.

Common home types

We covered this topic recently from the buyer side. Since 79% of homes purchased were detached single-family homes, the almost perfectly matching majority (83%) of homes sold were? Yes, you got it. Detached single-family homes! All other types combined made up less than a fifth of sales.

Reasons for home sales

We’ve already mentioned this a couple of times, but the number one reason for sales across all sellers was to move closer to friends and family. There’s one big variation: Millennials were far more likely to sell because their home was too small, probably because they had growing families as mentioned above.

Financing the home purchase

Distance between homes

When Younger Baby Boomers moved, they really moved! Their new homes were a median of 150 miles from the homes they sold, while the next highest median was 95 miles for Older Baby Boomers. Younger Millennials stayed the closest to home, at a median of 15 miles.

When are homebuyers ready to sell?

42% of Younger Millennials sold after only 4-5 years, which may be related to wanting a larger home, as we said above. A matching percentage of Older Baby Boomers sold after 21 years or more in their existing home. Overall, sellers stayed in their homes for a median of 10 years, with a high of 16 years for Older Baby Boomers and a low of 4 years for Younger Millennials.

More From The 2023 NAR Report

Understand how buyers financed their home purchase in 2023.

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Home sale financials

Setting the sales price may be the most important decision for a seller, which is why a skilled listing broker can make the difference between slowing the sale by overpricing, or making the seller feel they settled too quickly by underpricing. Since almost three-quarters of all homes across all sellers were on the market for 4 weeks or less, and the same percentage of homes had no price reduction before they sold, it appears the pricing was right for the real estate market.

Satisfaction with home sale

Almost three-quarters of all sellers were very satisfied with the selling process. The least satisfied were Older Baby Boomers, with 12% saying they were very dissatisfied. We’d like to tell you more, but there’s no information about why they were unhappy with their sales.

If you’re selling your home and want to buy another, we have an outstanding range of mortgages. We even have loans that allow you to buy a home before you’ve sold your current one! Contact us.

About the National Association of Realtors® Generational Trends Report

The National Association of Realtors® 2023 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report was researched and written by the National Association of Realtors® Research Group. It’s based on data gathered from primary residence homebuyers who purchased their properties between July 2021 and June 2022. Seller information came from buyers who also sold a home. For more information or to see the full report, visit

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