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 was previously the managing editor for Colorado Builder, and is currently Editor for the Journal of Financial Planning.

Danielle Andrus has 343 posts and counting. See all posts by Danielle Andrus

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