Millennials: The Lion’s Share of U.S. Home Buyers
NEW YORK – Millennials now represent a significant majority of U.S. homebuyers, though there are notable demographic differences between older millennials (ages 30 to 39) and younger millennials (ages 22 to 29).
According to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) 2020 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report, older millennials and younger millennials represent 25% and 13% of buyers, respectively, compared to Gen Xers (ages 40 to 54) who made up 23% of the market.
Student debt interfered with down payment savings for 46% of younger millennials, with a median loan balance of $26,000, and 38% of older millennials, who had a median balance of $34,000. Across nearly all age groups, debt delayed home buying by four to five years.
While buyers across all age categories cited a home purchase as a “good investment” and the desire to own as their primary reason for purchasing, older millennials were slightly less likely than other age groups to consider a home purchase as “better than stocks” and more likely to consider it merely “as good as stocks.”
Older millennials were also the most likely to be buying as married couples and paid the highest prices for homes – a median of $282,000, compared to the overall median of $257,000 across age groups – even though Gen X purchasers came to the table with the highest incomes of any demographic, a median of $110,900.
Younger millennial buyers, on the other hand, had the highest rate of purchases by unmarried couples and the lowest median purchase price of any age group, at $206,300.
Detached single-family homes represented 83% of homes bought across all demographics, with buyers of all ages also opting for a median size of three bedrooms. Silent Generation buyers (ages 74 to 94) were the only age group moving into smaller homes, going from a median of 2,100 to 1,800 square feet.
Older boomers (ages 65 to 73) made up the largest share of sellers, at 23%.
And while younger sellers were generally interested in trading up to larger spaces, boomer sellers generally purchased equivalent or smaller spaces but moved greater distances, often to be closer to family and friends.
Source: Mansion Global (03/05/2020) Smith, Virginia K.
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