Acumen Insights

Generations Differ In What They Want In a Home

By January 30, 2017 No Comments

The housing market has many active shoppers from all generations.’s September Home Shoppers Survey revealed that the generations differ greatly in what they look for in a home. Older Millennials, age 25 to 34, account for the largest portion of active home shoppers at 33 percent. Approximately 74 percent of these individuals are first-time buyers. Millennials tend to be family and investment focused. Their primary motivations for purchasing a home include: being tired of current living arrangements, getting married/moving in with partners, increase in family size, and the desire to live closer to good schools. Approximately 34 percent prefer attached properties—the highest percentage to prefer such properties across all groups. Their top requirements for a home include: a safer neighborhood, larger yard/lot, and good schools. The largest obstacle for this age group is the down payment, with 32 percent reporting not having the funds for it.

The youngest of Generation X, those aged 35 to 44, make up 23 percent of all active shoppers. Approximately 45 percent are first-time home-buyers. This group places most emphasis on their family and children’s needs and they highly value privacy. Their motivations for home purchase include: being tired of their current home, change in family circumstances, and favorable home prices. About 63 percent of this demographic group prefers single-family detached homes. In terms of desired features, they would like: larger yard/lot, proximity to good schools, more living space, and quality of construction. They are the only group that prefers outlying suburbs slightly more than suburban areas closer to the urban core.

Older Gen X and younger Baby Boomers, aged 45 to 54, account for 17 percent of active home shoppers. About 31 percent of them are first-time buyers. This age group is most concerned with interest rates. Seventeen percent of them consider low interest rates as their top motivator for purchasing a home. They prefer single-family detached homes and desire properties with high quality construction, larger yard/lot space, and safe neighborhoods. This generation is where there is a shift in preference of privacy over family needs.