Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Older Millennials: Forming Families, Establishing Homes

Older Millennials, buyers aged 30 to 39 years, made up the largest share of home buyers by generation at 25 percent of all home buyers in 2019; they also accounted for 19 percent of sellers. According to the 2020 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends report, this group was born between 1980 and 1989 and was the largest share of buyers for the seventh consecutive year. Older Millennials had the highest share of married couples (67 percent) and also the highest share of households with children (61 percent).

Older Millennials accounted for the second largest share of first-time home buyers at 52 percent. This generation were the second most likely to rent an apartment (51 percent) or live with friends or family (13 percent) as their previous living arrangement. Older Millennials were the most likely to purchase a detached single-family home (88 percent) and primarily bought previously owned homes (90 percent) for a better overall value and better price. The primary reason that Older Millennials purchased homes was the desire to own a home of their own at 40 percent, followed by desiring a larger home (14 percent).

Older Millennials were the most likely group to purchase in the suburbs or a subdivision at 53 percent. They stayed close by in their purchase, moving only a median of 10 miles from their previous residence, the same as Gen Xers. More than other age groups, they purchased homes for the quality of the neighborhood (68 percent), quality of the school district (46 percent), and convenience to schools (38 percent). Older Millennials also were most likely to purchase their home through a real estate agent or broker (92 percent), even though they were most likely to find their home online (63 percent)

Buyers 30 to 39 had the second highest median household income at $102,800 in 2018. Along those lines, they purchased the most expensive homes at a median home price of $282,000 and the second largest homes at a median of 1,900 square feet. Commuting costs were important to Older Millennials, 41 percent said this was very important. This group was most likely to say that they compromised on the price of the home, condition of the home, size of the home, and the distance from their job.

Nearly all Older Millennials financed their home purchase at 97 percent, more than any other age group. Their median downpayment was 10 percent, the second highest among the generations. Older Millennials were likely to use savings (70 percent), proceeds from sale of another residence (30 percent), and a gift or loan from a friend or relative (24 percent) as the source of their downpayment. Older and Younger Millennial buyers were the most likely to say saving for the downpayment was the most difficult step in the home buying process, which delayed their home purchase by four years. Among those who had difficulty saving, 51 percent of Older Millennials had student loan debt and 36 percent had credit card debt, more than other age groups. Overall, 38 percent of Older Millennial home buyers had student loan debt (second only to Younger Millennials) and had the highest median amount of student debt at $34,000.

Older Millenials data from 2020 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends report