- Traditional middle income first home buyers (recently married, young, either has children or children on the way or planning to have children, ...) are no longer buying homes. They're either not having kids, urban renting (townhouses, etc), or the big one, electing to live at home with their parents. Buying a home is now seen as a step towards unnecessary debt, not as a step towards independence. Where is that "first home downpayment" money going? Either towards a lavish wedding or to developing a portfolio or (get ready for it) investing in real estate.
- The wealthy (low to mid upper income) are spending their money improving their homes rather than buying summer homes, vacation homes, winter lodges and the like. Time-sharing, which had gone out of favor for quite a while, is coming back in this income bracket. Money which would have gone to taking the entire family to Switzerland for a month long ski holiday is staying local and more often than not, staying right in their own backyard.
- The big one (as far as our analysis showed) was that many 20s and early 30yos are bypassing buying a traditional starter home. They're looking at the economy, the world, their jobs and educational financial burdens and deciding that the starter-home-then-upgrade route isn't an option. They're waiting until they're sure their marriage, work and family situation are stable then going directly into a home they'll keep until they retire if not longer. The market's too much in flux and nothing's offering the security it did in the 1950s-1990s, so they might as well get a home they believe will keep them happy and can grow a family in rather than one that may only last them five or so years.
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