Millennials and Boomers Competing?

November 9, 2021
An uptick in home purchases by baby boomers is creating strong competition with millennial homebuyers.

A new analysis by Zillow, measuring the age, sex, race, and income of homebuyers over the course of a decade, reveals that millennials and baby boomers—two of the biggest generations in U.S. history—are in the market for homes in a big way. The study found that young people are making up a smaller share of recent homebuyers than in previous years, further indicating there is still much pent-up demand from millennial households. However, Americans 60 years and older were more active in the housing market than a decade ago. With an aging population, assisted by an improving economy, individuals of every age group over 30 were buyers at higher rates in 2019, than those same age groups in 2009. "Even before the pandemic, the largest-ever generation entering their 30s, and the hangover from more than a decade of underbuilding were on a collision course set to define the U.S. housing market," said Jeff Tucker, Senior Economist at Zillow.

Even as millennials are the biggest players in the U.S. housing market, buyers are trending older. The median age of a recent buyer—somebody who bought a home in the past year—was 44 in 2019, up from the age of 40 in 2009. That's largely because baby boomers, who make up a big share of the population, were also more active in the housing market than those their age just 10 years prior. "There are many hurdles millennials must overcome when buying homes of their own, one of them being fierce competition from the next-most-populous generation: baby boomers," Tucker said. "Whether downsizing or moving to a new town, baby boomers being more active means competition that previous generations did not have when buying their first home. And older buyers have the advantage of a lifetime's worth of savings and home equity to leverage in a competitive offer."

Source: DS News