News & Trends
May 23, 2024

Does a Person’s Generation Affect Their Homebuying Habits?

Estimated reading time: 4 minutes

In April 2024, the National Association of Realtors (NAR) unveiled their 2024 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends report. The NAR sent out a comprehensive 129-question survey to nearly 190,000 recent homebuyers in July 2023, garnering 6,817 responses. Now, we’re diving into this data to examine the distinct buying patterns across different generations, ranging from Generation Z to the Silent Generation.

Gen Z

Generation Z, or Gen Z, were the youngest generation to enter the housing market at ages 18 to 24, as of 2023. The NAR did not have enough of a data sample to show unique characteristics broken down by percentage, with Gen Z making up just 3% of buyers.


As the largest share of homebuyers in 2023 at 38%, millennials are often categorized into two subsets. At the time of the survey, older millennials were 34 to 43 years old and younger millennials were 25 to 33 years old. 21% of older millennials successfully bought a home, with younger millennials having a 17% success rate.

75% of younger millennials and 44% of older millennials were first-time homebuyers, according to the NAR report. A convenient distance from their job and commuting costs were the most important factors for millennials purchasing a home. This group also had the lowest median down payment percentage. Young millennials contributed 10% down while the older subset contributed just 13%.

Gen X

Generation X reflects people between the ages of 44 and 58. The NAR reported that Gen X made up 4% of recent purchases and are one of the most racially and ethnically diverse populations of buyers, with over a quarter of those surveyed identifying as a race other than Caucasian.

They were the generation most likely to buy a new home for a job relocation or professional move. Additionally, they were some of the top highest earning homebuyers with a median reported income of $126,900. Gen X was also most likely to purchase multi-generational homes at 19% and purchased the second largest homes at a median of 1,940 square feet.

Baby Boomers

Baby boomers are another generation that the NAR separated into two subsets because of their different buying demographics and behaviors. Older baby boomers, ages 69 to 77, made up 12% of 2023 homebuyers. Younger baby boomers, ages 59 to 68, represented 19%.

Baby boomers purchased homes last year for a variety of reasons. Primarily, they wanted to be closer to loved ones as they entered retirement or to downsize from previously purchased properties. Younger boomers moved the second farthest distance at a median of 50 miles, with older boomers moving a median of 49 miles. On average, older boomers purchased new builds more often than any other generation. They also paid the largest median down payment at 35%.

Silent Generation

The Silent Generation, who were 78 to 98 during the survey, made up one of the smallest shares of homebuyers at 4%. This group of homebuyers were the most likely to purchase a home to be closer to family and friends, with an emphasis on convenience to health facilities. On average, these homebuyers travelled a median of 63 miles to their new home from their previous residence, the furthest among all generations surveyed. They took the least amount of time to search for homes, a median of 6 weeks, and were the most likely to purchase apartments or condos over detached single-family homes.

Similarities Among All Generations

While many generations had their own unique ways of purchasing homes, the report also recorded numerous similarities among all buyers.

Low Inventory

Every generational group found that the most difficult part of the homebuying process was finding the right property to purchase. The housing market is still recovering from supply chain issues, material costs, and labor shortages that began during the 2020 pandemic, according to an article from Bankrate. Buyers entering the market should prepare to be competitive to find homebuying success.

Real Estate Agent Qualities

When choosing a real estate agent to work with, honesty, trustworthiness, and knowledge of the purchase process were the most important factors for all buyers. Real estate agents can serve as homebuying navigators for clients, helping ease their anxieties about the process and provide insider knowledge about local markets.

Home Financing That Works for Your Needs

80% of all recent buyers surveyed used financing to purchase their home. Homestead Funding offers a diverse mix of home financing solutions to fit a wide variety of borrower needs! To be put in contact with a Loan Originator who will be by your side throughout the process, contact us!

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