Parents have long suspected it’s true, but a new study from Coldwell Banker Real Estate confirms it: When it comes to making decisions about buying or selling a home, and where to locate, children may be the defacto “Chief Purchasing Officers” of the family.
The survey, which was conducted among 2,800 parents across three generations, revealed that 79 percent of Millennial parents (parents age 18-34) and 70 percent of Generation X parents (parents age 35-49) said most of their major purchasing decisions revolve around their children, including home purchases.
In comparison, just over half of Boomer parents (parents age 50-69) said this was true when raising their family.
“We have seen a dramatic shift of parents today becoming more involved in their kids’ lives,” said Dr. Robi Ludwig, psychotherapist and lifestyle correspondent for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC. “But now, we are seeing this translate beyond play dates and homework. Parents today are viewing some of their largest decisions through the eyes of their kids, which was not as common 20 to 30 years ago.”
Dr. Ludwig notes that the findings are one more indication of how parenting styles may be changing the way we think of consumerism and decision-making, and this all could have a major impact for agents working with buyers and sellers.
Some additional key findings:
- Parents today are more concerned with how moving will affect their kids than before: When thinking about moving homes, two thirds of Millennial and Gen X parents said that they are more concerned with the immediate impact a move would have on their children’s emotional well-being than whether or not it is a good long-term decision for the family.
- Each generation believes they are more involved than the past: All three generations believe they are or were more involved in their children’s lives than their parents were in their life.
- Parents today increasingly want to live near mom and dad: According to the survey, far more Millennial and Gen X parents said it was important to live near their parents or their spouse’s parents than Boomer parents did when thinking of raising their family.
The emotional connection to family members has always impacted major life decisions, including moving to a new home or city, but the Coldwell Banker survey results demonstrate a more striking generational difference between parenting styles than ever before.
Below is a market-by-market report from our local offices:
North Bay – Our Greenbrae manager says the Previews high-end market is slower in general, but specific properties are still “multiple offer” situations. The overall market has been steady. Our Novato manager is seeing more homes priced over $1 million coming on the market. 30% of luxury homes over $1 million are currently in escrow and 30% of inventory selling over past two months. Listing inventory has continued to be challenging in Novato and is affecting the number of sales. Agents are beginning to see flurries of activity and are optimistic for a stronger summer. Certain areas have a larger inventory and those properties are staying on market longer if not priced well. Our San Rafael manager says agents are still seeing robust multiple offers and lots of traffic at Sunday open houses. Our Sebastopol manager says more homes are coming to market and activity remains strong in the upper end, but not enough quality inventory under $400k to satisfy demand. Agents in Southern Marin continue to see greater sales activity for properties listed over $3 million as evidenced by our listing in Tiburon for $3.6 million that generated multiple offers on the day of its first broker’s open (first day on market) and went well over its list price. The overall market has seen significant increases in inventory since Easter. This has given buyers more choices and spread the demand over more available properties. This has caused fewer multiple offers and a lower number of offers when a property does receive multiple offers. However, the most desirable properties (for example in downtown Mill Valley) are still getting overbids of 25% and higher.
San Francisco – Our Lakeside office manager says buyers appear to be more aggressive with pre-emptive offer strategies. When they see what they want, they are sometimes willing to pay more than seems reasonable if their offer is accepted right away and the seller doesn’t wait for offers. This puts sellers in the awkward position of having to decide whether they should curtail the marketing of their property and accept the offer or continue with the marketing and risk a lesser offer after more market exposure. This is definitely a time when both parties need excellent agent advice since so much depends on the specifics of each case. Our Lombard office manager says after hearing of some cooling and a few price reductions last week, this week brought some wildly over-asking prices: $500,000, $600,000, $1 million over asking. There are still too few listings for too many buyers, according to our Market Street office manager. And the result is that most properties continue to receive multiple offers. The number of offers ranged anywhere from 1 to 16 during this period, with the majority receiving 3. With Memorial Day on the horizon, one wonders if we’ll see the usual summer drop off in listings, or if things will continue at this steady slow pace. Our Sunset manager reports that open houses are still very active but the numbers of visitors has dropped. It’s no longer 50-100 groups, but a steady 20-30 groups. Appraisals are starting to have issues where they are coming in slightly under purchase price. It appears that the prices are starting to level off as the number of multiple offers has decreased, which probably is a good thing to stabilized the market.
SF Peninsula – Perhaps we are seeing a slight slowing of sales activity, our Burlingame manager reports. This may be typical for late May however, as we come into the Graduation Season and Memorial Day weekend or it may reflect some level of buyer burnout over too few homes, too many buyers competing for those homes, low inventory and escalating prices. Time will tell as we go into the summer season. Even with these challenges agents continue to win the day for their clients with their diligence in finding off-market properties, good client counseling and expertise in crafting winning offers. Hillsborough is currently seeing extremely low inventory while savvy buyers are recognizing the great values available in this desirable community. One estate listing at $28 mill. went into contract 2 weeks after the broker tour. There have been several sales in the $10+ mill. range, while entry level is about $2.3 mill. with these homes attracting multiple bids as buyers seek the award winning schools, half-acre min. lots and proximity to San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Our Menlo Park manager says that the high end market in Atherton has seen some very big sales over $10 million – local buyers but the Asian influence is still being seen. The market overall is still very strong. Middle of the road properties are still pretty much flying off the shelf. Vacations, schools and graduations are contribution to a slow market in the Palo Alto area. Our San Mateo manager says the number of offers per listing has dropped significantly to average 2 1/2 to 3 offers. Our Woodside/Portola Valley manager says agents had a couple of more big sales over $6 million, so the high-end buyers are out there. The money is certainly there; it is a case of their personal enthusiasm level.
East Bay – All Previews luxury properties have received multiple offers and average 20-30% over asking price, according to our Berkeley manager. Listing inventory overall is low, however slowly increasing. Multiple offers on all ratified offers with 40% all cash buyers. About 30 % of our Danville office listings are on the market seven days or less. There is only about weeks of inventory. Sellers are still holding back because they are afraid to sell and have no place to live, our Danville manager says. Our Oakland/Piedmont office manager reports that multiple offers are still the order of the day due to insufficient inventory. Several times in the last few weeks agents have wound up in the middle of the pack going $150k over asking. Some buyers are getting demoralized while others are finding ways to make their offers more attractive. Open house activity has been brisk and the buyers coming in are still predominantly transplants from San Francisco. The Lamorinda market has been steady over the past couple of weeks. In the Pleasanton-Livermore area, it’s still a seller’s market, still multiple offers if homes are priced right, but overpriced houses will sit. Our Walnut Creek manager says agents are not seeing a lot of activity in the high-end market lately. Overall, they are seeing more listings come on the market and multiple offers are happening more so on the homes priced really well or in very desirable areas. Homes with multiple offers are still driving prices up.
Silicon Valley – Both inventory and activity in the local market are up, our Cupertino manager reports. The number of multiple offers per property is going down in most cases.According to our Los Gatos manager, buyers are getting some relief as properties are sitting just a bit longer on the market compared to earlier in the year. Active listings for the San Jose Almaden area are equal to last year at this time. Homes in Blossom Valley and Santa Teresa are staying on the market a little longer and not going for as much over list price. Some are at, or even, below list price. Meanwhile, our Willow Glen manager says the local market continues to see listing inventory increase week after week. They are currently at the second highest level of inventory for the last 12 months. They still have strong buyer demand with heavy traffic at open houses, however the number of multiple offers has subsided considerably. Sales activity is still robust with our Willow Glen office reporting strong new sales. Our Saratoga manager says inventory is growing weekly in the upper price range.
South County – The South County Real Estate landscape is in a constant state of change, according to our local manager. From week to week it fluctuates between a “Seller’s” market and a “Buyer’s” market. On one hand, as sellers realize the real value of their homes, they are encouraged to actually put them on the market—but with the caveat that they must find a replacement property. Buyers, eager to obtain a home, are willing to accept “reverse” contingencies, giving the seller time to find a new property. This is an interesting phenomenon. Many buyers, however, who are willing to pay cash or who have a very large down payment are no longer paying full or over asking price, as was the norm several months ago.
Santa Cruz County – The inventory of luxury homes on the market in the Santa Cruz area is increasing. Overall, inventory continues to increase and sales are just about keeping up with the pace of the inventory coming on. Low interest rates have helped to keep demand strong, according to our local manager.
Monterey Peninsula – It has been a little quiet in the last two weeks on the Monterey Peninsula, but activity is still brisk in the upper end market of Pebble Beach and Carmel. There have been some very nice new listings with water views that are ideally priced for the buyer looking for that sunset view over the Pacific Ocean. A couple of new Pebble Beach Estates, when compared to the Bay Area prices, offer a great opportunity to purchase within the gates of Pebble Beach. Our local offices have closed several properties in the under $800,000 price point with fewer problems qualifying for financing. Agents are looking forward to a busy Memorial Day holiday weekend with plenty of tourist scouting for a second home on the Monterey Peninsula.
That’s it for now. Have a great holiday weekend!