Millennials Retake Mantle of Largest Generation of Homebuyers

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) Millennials (now 25-43-years-old) have surpassed baby boomers becoming the largest group of home buyers in the country. 

Currently buying 38% of homes, Millennials have surged ahead in the last year in their home buying endeavors, where last year they were buying 28% of homes. Boomers (now 59-77-years-old) decreased their home buying habits from purchasing 39% of homes to 31% of homes currently. 

“The generational tug-of-war between millennials and baby boomers continued this year, with millennials rebounding to capture the largest share of home buyers,” said Dr. Jessica Lautz, NAR Deputy Chief Economist and VP of Research. “This notable rise is attributed to both younger millennials stepping into homeownership for the first time and older millennials transitioning to larger homes that suit their evolving needs.” 

According to the NAR, the report underscored a rise in first-time buyers across many generations, with 32% of all buyers purchasing for the first time, an increase from 26% last year. Leading the charge were younger millennials, whose proportion of first-time buyers increased from 70% to 75% over the past year. Forty-four percent of older millennials and 24% of Generation X (ages 44-58) were first-time buyers. 

The NAR continued by saying, in parallel, the emergence of Generation Z (ages 18-24) in the housing market paints a picture of diversity and independence. While this cohort only accounted for 3% of all buyers, an impressive 31% of Gen Z purchasers were single females – a proportion significantly higher than that observed in any other generation. 

“Gen Z buyers are entering the housing market, and their demographics are emerging distinctly from other age groups,” Lautz said. “More than half are single buyers, outpacing all age groups of single men and single women, and they are also most likely to identify as LGBTQ+.” 

Despite these shifts in buyer trends, baby boomers remained the largest home-seller generation, accounting for 45% of all sellers in 2023. The tenure of homeownership before making a sale varied significantly by generation. While the median among all buyers was a 10-year stay before selling, older millennials typically sold their homes after just six years, contrasting sharply with Gen X, baby boomers and the Silent Generation (ages 78-98), who typically stayed in their homes for 15 years. 

“Baby boomers continue to dominate the home-selling market as they make pivotal decisions regarding their retirement living situations, whether it’s right-sizing or moving closer to loved ones,” Lautz said. “Benefiting from longer periods of homeownership compared to other generations, boomers approach these transactions with substantial equity, enabling strategic housing trades.” 

“The universal value of owning a home transcends every generation, serving as a cornerstone for both personal prosperity and community development,” said NAR President Kevin Sears, Broker/Partner of Sears Real Estate in Springfield, Massachusetts. “In navigating the complexities of the market, buyers and sellers continue to rely on agents who are Realtors for their expertise and guidance, underscoring the invaluable service they provide in bringing dreams of homeownership to life.” 

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Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst

Kyle G. Horst is a reporter for MortgagePoint. A graduate of the University of Texas at Tyler, he has worked for a number of daily, weekly, and monthly publications in South Dakota and Texas. With more than 10 years of experience in community journalism, he has won a number of state, national, and international awards for his writing and photography including best newspaper design by the Associated Press Managing Editors Group and the international iPhone photographer of the year by the iPhone Photography Awards. He most recently worked as editor of Community Impact Newspaper covering a number of Dallas-Ft. Worth communities on a hyperlocal level. Contact Kyle G. at kyle.horst@thefivestar.com.
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