Boomers Outpace Millennials in Homebuying

By Kelly Leighton | March 30, 2023 | 2 min. read

A competitive homebuying market, with many homes receiving multiple offers, all-cash offers and over-asking-price offers shut out many younger homebuyers last year. Millennials had previously held the honor of being the largest generation of buyers, and had since 2014, but they were unseated by their older counterparts, according to NAR’s Homebuyers and Sellers Generational Trends. Boomers (defined as those aged 58 to 76 years old) represented 39% of homebuyers last year, an increase of 10% in 2021.

Millennials (defined as 24 to 42 years old) represented 28% of all homebuyers in 2022, a decrease of 15% from 43% in 2021. Only 26% of buyers were first-time buyers, the lowest number NAR has seen. The majority of first-time buyers were millennials.

Generation X made up 24% of total buyers. They had the highest median household income of any generation ($114,300), followed by older millennials ($102,900). Generation Z made up 4% of buyers, up 2% from 2021. Ultimately, buyers moved 50 miles (median), with older buyers moving the furthest.

The majority of buyers (86%) said they used a real estate agent to help with the process. The most common reason for using an agent was that the buyer was looking for help in finding the right home to buy (49%), followed by they wanted help with the terms of the sale (13%). More than three-quarters of buyers (76%) said they would use their agent again and recommend them to friends and family. Nearly 90% of buyers said they think a home is a good investment.

Not only were they the biggest generation of buyers, but baby boomers were also the biggest generation of sellers. They represented 52% of all sellers, up from 42% in 2021. On average, sellers remained in their homes for 10 years, up a year from 2021, with boomers staying in their homes for 16 years and younger millennials only staying four. The top reason people cited for moving was to be closer to family and friends, while baby boomers were also apt to sell for retirement. Younger generations also said they were selling looking for a larger property and a new job.

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