Most Influential Homebuying Factors 2019 — Implied Best Cities

Where a person wants to live and why is as varied as the number of people, and is based on both subjective and objective factors.   Where a person desires to reside changes over a person’s lifespan as needs transform.   While the reason to buy a specific property is a combination of a multitude of factors, certain ones are more influential than others across the population.

To identify the most influential factors in the decision of where and what to buy, Clovered (a company providing insurance coverages including homeowners, condo, renters, flood and auto) surveyed 1,018 people using Amazon’s Mechanical Turk service covering a multitude of questions.

Location ruled in decision making when compared to Home Quality across all age demographics.  The following table breaks down responses to these two factors.  Not only is Location tops in priority, its importance increases with age.

Just as in clothing where one size does not fit all, the same is true with climate.   Climate is a major factor, but which type of climate is best varies.   Survey preferences are shown in the next table.  For me personally, a warm climate is most desirable.   As noted in prior blogs:

Having been raised on a ranch in Southwestern Colorado and feeding tons of hay in the winter each day at sub-zero temperatures, I also want to avoid any location that has material snow fall and cold”

That said, just one-in-five respondents indicated my preference of Tropical Climates as ideal.  The Majority, six-in-ten respondents, desired Four Seasons.

Most influential factors across all respondents are shown in the following table.  Economics and well-being both are present – but affordability stands out from the others at 60.3 percent.

The next table lists the top-10 factors by age demographic.  While all three age cohorts indicated that Affordability was most influential, the degree of importance increased with age.   That finding ran counter to my expectation that older Baby Boomers would be less influenced by Affordability.    As expected, however, Employment Opportunities were most important to Millennials with essentially double the influence on homebuying (38.2 percent) when compared to Boomers (18.8 percent).   The older the group, the more important was ClimateCrime ranked second most important across all age demographics.

Implied Best Cities

Based on the four most influential factors, Clovered then created a meta ranking using the following data.  These meta data were analyzed across the 50 most populated Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in the U.S. to obtain imputed or implied best cities.

  • Affordability – Bureau of economic Analysis Regional Price Parties (cost of living)
  • Crime Rates – FBI Uniform Crime Reports 2017 showing the violent crime rates per 100,000 people
  • Commute Times – U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey
  • Well-Being – Gallup’s 2017 Community Well-Being Rankings

Cities deemed Most Coveted are shown in the following tables by Age Cohort.   These MSAs incorporated deal-breaker aspects, such as a requirement to have schools ranked at least eight on a 10 scale and excluding MSAs with commuting times in excess of 45 minutes.  Denver placed either first or second in all three generations.

To read the entire study results click

To learn more about Clovered click

The data and criteria used do alter the results – change the data or methodology and the results will vary.  Other factors – even architectural style – can make one person’s castle a shack in other people’s eyes.


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