What’s different about millennial homebuyers?

The two largest demographics, born 20 years apart, have more in common than one might think.
(Photo: Katarzyna Bialasiewicz, Dreamstime)

The two largest demographics, born 20 years apart, have more in common than one might think. A report by Pew Research Center compared behaviors of millennials between the ages of 22 and 37, to those of prior generations at the same age.

[Related: Mile-high millennials—What the next generation of homebuyers means for builders]

Education. Although millennials as a group tend to be more educated—39% of millennials have at least a bachelor’s degree, compared to about a quarter of boomers—similar percentages pursued an associate’s degree or attended college without earning a degree.

Work ethic. Much has been made of millennials’ failure to launch as a symptom of inherent laziness, but Pew data show they work just as much as boomers. Between ages 22 and 37, two-thirds of boomer women and 86% of boomer men were working, according to the report. In the same age band, 72% of millennial women and 83% of millennial men were employed.

Homeownership. Pew found 15% of millennials lived in their parents’ home at some point between the ages of 25 and 37, compared with 8% of boomers who lived with their parents at the same age.

Millennials are working to change that, though. The National Association of Realtors found 36% of new homes purchased in 2018 were bought by millennials, compared to roughly 16% of boomers

Family. Without a doubt, the biggest difference between boomers and millennials is family creation. Just 46% of millennials are married, compared with roughly two-thirds of boomers. A similar percentage of millennial women are mothers—48%—compared with 58% of boomer women.


Danielle Andrus

Danielle Andrus is the managing editor of Colorado Builder. She can be reached at [email protected].

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