Millennials reclaim largest homebuying share from baby boomers

Younger millennials enter prime homebuying window, help bump cohort's share to 38%

Millennials are once again the largest group of homebuyers, reclaiming the top spot from baby boomers, according to the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

The organization’s 2024 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends report found that millennials, aged 25 to 43, now comprise 38% of the residential buying market. That’s quite a jump from 28% last year, when their status as the demographic with the largest market share of buyers was usurped by boomers.

Boomers, on the other hand, logged a polar opposite trend, with their percentage of buyers dropping from 39% in last year’s report to 31% this year.

“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 Jessica Lautz, NAR deputy chief economist and vice president 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.”

Indeed, the NAR’s numbers relating to the emergence of Gen Z buyers (aged 18-24) unearthed some interesting takeaways. The cohort remains a small one, making up just 3% of buyers in the report. But 31% of Gen Z homebuyers were single females, substantially higher than any other age bracket. The group with the second largest share of single female homebuyers — older boomers — topped out at just 25%. In contrast, just 13% of younger millennial buyers (25 to 33) and older millennials (34 to 43) were single women.

At 45%, baby boomers did hold on to the largest market share among home sellers.

“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.”

Older homeowners generally held on to their homes for longer, as Gen Xers, baby boomers, and members of the Silent Generation typically stayed in their homes for 15 years before putting them on the market. Older millennials, in contrast, typically sold their homes after only six years. The median tenure length among all homebuyers was 10 years.


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