Millennials Vs. Boomers – home buying trends


Whose buying homes? Everyone of course. It’s the smart thing to do! But what generation is buying more homes and why? The millennials (“generation Y “/ “generation next”) – those born between 1980 and 1995 comprised 31% of recent purchases. This was followed by generation X – those born between 1965 and 1979 at 31%. Percentages of recent home purchases among earlier Home Salesgenerations were notably lower: 16% were “younger boomers,” those born between 1955 and 1964; 14% were “older boomers,” born between 1946 and 1954; and 9% were from the “silent generation,” those born between 1925 and 1945.

Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says the “millennial” generation, which is under the age of 34, is now entering the peak period in which people typically buy a first home.

The median age of millennial home buyers was 29, their median income was $73,600 and they typically bought an 1,800-square foot home costing $180,000. The typical generation X buyer was 40 years old, had a median income of $98,200 and purchased a 2,130-square foot home costing $250,000.

Location and Duration: Although most purchases by all generations were in a suburban area, millennials were more likely to buy in an urban or central city area, at 19%, compared with only 12% of older boomers.

Younger buyers stayed closer to their previous residence, moving a median distance of 10 miles, whereas older buyers moved longer distances, with older boomers at 20 miles and the silent generation a median distance of 30 miles from their previous home.

When it comes to a home’s environmentally friendly features, younger buyers placed higher importance on commuting costs than older generations, who placed higher importance on energy efficiency, landscaping and community features.

The older the sellers, the longer they were in their home. The millennials plan to stay in their home for 10 years, while the baby boomer generation as a whole plans to stay for a median of 20 years.

All home buyers, regardless of age, typically began the home buying process by looking online for properties for sales and then contacting a real estate agent. Younger buyers relied on real estate agents to help them understand the buying process, while older buyers most appreciated real estate agents pointing out unnoticed features or faults with the property.

The entire 2014 NAR Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study can be found here.