• Alyson Lemerand

The Generations within the Housing Market

Each generation has had significant changes and challenges while entering the housing market. Generations divide the years, and the people within them into the same cohort (Baby Boomer, Generation X, Millennials, and Generation Z). These generations supposedly have similar experiences, thoughts, and ideals. Let's take a look at what each generation is doing in the housing market now!

Baby Boomers are at the stage of their life, making vital decisions about what they're going to do with their homes. Baby Boomers were known for building very intricate, large homes. They are unable to maintain the home now, and in most cases, the house is too large for them. Baby Boomers have changed their focus and are currently looking for the following qualities: good weather, access to healthcare, walkable community, near water or parks, a one-level home, hardwood flooring, and an open floor plan. Baby Boomers are considering moving in with their kids, into nursing homes, or choosing to move closer to their grandkids.

Now, let's look at Generation X. This generation is known for having the largest families, and they are typically looking to buy three to four-bedroom homes. Since Gen. X has dealt with many crises, like the economic shutdown, a common theme amongst them is conservative buying. They take lots of time looking up everything they can about a home and typically steer away from homes that need lots of renovations. They value the importance of which neighborhood they are in, being able to be neighborly, and look for homes with options to age in. When looking for a home to age in, that typically entails being able to live on just the main floor, so having a bedroom with all other main spaces in the house be on the first floor. Gen. X also appreciates being a short commute from work but overall wants the house to be a perfect fit for them and their family.

Millennials are the next generation. Unlike Gen. X, millennials are buying more homes they can renovate and customize. Along with customizations, millennials also like to have the ability to use one room in multiple ways. Millennials also follow trends like granite countertops, large kitchen islands, built-in appliances, and specialty rooms (workout room, playroom, and media room). Much like the generation before them, they are willing to give up other qualities of a home to be in an above-average neighborhood and school district since they have families. They have a mix of mid-century modern and minimalistic designs throughout their homes.

Generation Z individuals are looking to own a home at earlier stages of their lives. Studies have shown that the older part of the generation has already

started saving for a starter home. They are looking for a smaller home they can own rather than a condo or apartment that they would rent. The houses they are looking for are in more affordable areas than the suburban areas that the past generations were moving into. Gen. Z is looking for urban neighborhoods with more diversity than the previous generations were looking for. The starter homes they are looking at have qualities like open floor plans, lots of outdoor and indoor entertainment spaces, and eco-friendly appliances. They prefer to be a short commute to their workplace.

While each generation is at a different point in their life while looking for houses, generation x and millennials share similar attributes. Overall many of the generations are still looking for common themes in a home, including open floor plans, indoor and outdoor entertainment opportunities, and being a short commute from work.

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