According to a recent National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) study, Generation Y (born 1980-1995) — sometimes called Millennials or Generation Next — make up the largest share of homebuyers (31%) in the U.S. They also make up the smallest number of home sellers (12%). Generation X (born 1965-1979) is the second-largest group of homebuyers (30%) and the largest group of home sellers (29%).
The NAR report breaks down the large Baby Boom Generation into two groups. Those born 1955-1964 accounted for 16% of home purchases, while those born 1946-1954 were responsible for 14% of home purchases. The Silent Generation (born 1925-1945) bought the remaining 9% of homes.
Reasons the Silent Generation purchased homes included caring for aging parents (27%), children moving back home (23%) and the desire to reduce expenses (21%). Boomers had similar reasons: Children moving back home (38%), desire to reduce expenses (18%) and caring for aging parents (15%).
Reasons Gen X purchased a home included the need for a larger home or job relocation. The primary reason for Gen Y was the desire to own a home.
Gen Y buyers anticipate living in their home for the shortest period of time (10 years), followed by Gen X (15 years). Both groups of Boomers plan on residing in their new home for 20 years.
Gen X was the most likely group to have delayed selling a home because it was worth less than the mortgage (19%), followed by Gen Y (17%) and Boomers born 1955-1964 (10%).
The reasons for selling a home were the same for both Boomers born 1946-1954 and the Silent Generation: wanting to move closer to friends and family, home is too large, and retirement. For Boomers born 1955-1964, the most common reasons for selling were job relocation or the home was too large.
The most common reason Gen Y and Gen X were selling a home was due to job relocation or the home was too small.