Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends

Since 2013, the National Association of REALTORS® has produced the Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report. This report provides insights into the differences and similarities across generations of home buyers and sellers. The home buyer and seller data is taken from the annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers.

Bar graph: Share of buyers and sellers by generation

Generation Z

  • This year, the share of Generation Z buyers and sellers aged 18 to 24 made up just 3% of buyers and 2% of sellers.
  • While the share is consistent with last year's report, the sample was too small to show unique characteristics.
  • This group is entering homeownership with the lowest household incomes, and its members are unlikely to be married yet, and are not likely to have children under the age of 18 in their home.
  • Similar to young millennials, they purchase older homes than other buyers.


  • Millennial buyers aged 25 to 33 years (younger millennials) and buyers aged 34 to 43 years (older millennials) make up the largest share of home buyers at 38%; older millennials at 21%, and younger millennials at 17% of the share of home buyers.
  • Seventy-five percent of younger millennials and 44% of older millennials were first-time home buyers.
  • Older millennials had the highest share of married couples (66%), while younger millennials had the highest share of unmarried couples (19%) buying homes.
  • Younger millennials are the most educated group, with 80% holding at least a bachelor's degree or higher.
  • Twenty-four percent of younger millennials moved directly from a family member's home before buying.
  • Convenience to their job and commuting costs were both more important to buyers in this group.

Generation X

  • Buyers aged 44 to 58 (Generation X) made up 4% of recent home buyers.
  • This group remains one of the highest-earning home buyers, with a median income of $126,900 in 2023. With this extra income, buyers aged 44 to 58 purchased the second-largest homes at a median of 1,940 square feet.
  • Fifty-eight percent of home buyers in this group are married couples, providing them with dual incomes.
  • Generation X buyers were the most likely to purchase a multi-generational home at 19% and also were most likely to purchase a home for a job relocation or move.
  • Buyers aged 44 to 58 years remain one of the most racially and ethnically diverse populations of home buyers, with 28% identifying they were a race other than white/Caucasian.

Baby Boomers

For the report, buyers aged 59 to 68 (younger baby boomers) and buyers aged 69 to 77 (older baby boomers) were broken into two separate categories as they have differing demographics and buying behaviors. Buyers aged 59 to 68 made up 19% of recent buyers and buyers aged 69 to 77 represented 12% of recent buyers.

  • Baby boomers purchased for an array of reasons: primarily, the desire to be closer to friends and family due to retirement, and the desire for a smaller home.
  • Younger and older boomers were likelier than others to purchase in a small town, and younger boomers were the most likely to purchase in rural areas.
  • Younger boomers expect to own their homes for the longest period of time at 20 years, and older boomers purchased the newest homes on average.
  • Buyers aged 59 to 68 typically moved the second furthest distance at a median of 50 miles, while buyers aged 69 to 77 moved a median of 49 miles.

The Silent Generation

  • Buyers aged 78 to 98 (the Silent Generation) represented one of the smallest shares of buyers at just 4%.
  • As a large percentage of these buyers were likely to have retired from the workforce, they had the second lowest median household incomes and also purchased the second smallest homes at a median of 1,800 square feet.
  • They typically purchase to be closer to friends and family.
  • Buyers aged 78 to 98 were most likely to purchase in senior-related housing at 33%.
  • This group was the second most likely to purchase new construction at 18%.
  • They were more likely than others to choose a neighborhood based on convenience to health facilities.
  • This age group had the highest percentage of military veterans at 40%.
  • Silent Generation buyers were least likely to make compromises on their purchased homes and also had the shortest search length at a median of six weeks.

Financing Purchase of a Home

  • Buyers continue to finance their home purchases, similar to years past. Eighty percent of home buyers financed their home purchase—a share that decreases as the age of the buyer increases.
  • Younger buyers continue to depend on savings for their down payment, while older buyers use proceeds from the sale of their previous residence.
  • Twenty-four percent of younger millennials received down payment help in the form of a gift or a loan from a friend or relative.
  • Older millennials, Generation X, and younger boomer buyers' purchases were delayed the longest due to debt at a median of five years.
  • Buyers overall were delayed primarily by student loan debt and high rental costs, holding back savings. In fact, 41% of younger millennials reported having student loan debt with a median loan balance of $30,000, compared to 35% of older millennials with a median balance of $40,000.
  • While only 4% of older boomers had student loan debt, they had a median balance of $20,100. This may be due to not only their personal education loans, but also accumulating debt from their children's education loans.
  • It was most common for buyers to cut spending on luxury/non-essential items and entertainment to save for their home purchases.

Selling a Home

  • Baby boomers make up the largest share of sellers at 45%.
  • Sellers aged 69 to 77 years were most likely to downsize their home.
  • Baby boomers and the Silent Generation are selling to move closer to friends and family or because their homes are too large, while millennials are selling because their houses are too small or due to a change in family situation.
  • Younger and older boomers typically owned their homes for 15 years before selling them.

Real Estate Agents and Brokers

  • Real estate agents and brokers remain the top home buying and selling resource for all generations.
  • While the internet is being utilized throughout the home search, buyers continue to need the help of a real estate professional to help them find the right home, negotiate terms of sale, and help with price negotiations.
  • Agents remain the most used information source in the home search, followed by mobile or tablet search devices.
  • Sellers, as well, turned to professionals to price their homes competitively, help market their homes to potential buyers, sell within a specific time frame, and find ways to fix up their homes to sell them for more.

Download the full report

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