Market Research

From Boomers to Zoomers: Housing Priorities by Generation

There are four generations buying homes in the United States today, each with different priorities:

  • Boomers, sitting on tons of equity and wealth, are less motivated to move unless they are relocating or seeking a low-maintenance home or rental.
  • Gen X is a smaller generation in size, with some starting to buy move-down homes for their next life stage.
  • Millennials are the largest and currently dominant home buyer group. Their top housing priority is to move up from their starter homes.
  • Gen Z is coming into the market pessimistic and willing to compromise to buy their first home.

According to John Burns Research & Consulting Vice President of Consulting Peter Dennehy, It is unsurprising that each generation’s housing preferences span the spectrum, given their diverse life stages and financial standings. During this year’s TecHome Builder Summit keynote in Nashville, I shared the key generational differences toward homeownership to help shape your approach to connecting with each group. We have included a project example from the DesignLens product database as an example of what home product appeals to each group today.

Boomers are discretionary buyers who will either buy as their needs change or to move closer to family and friends. Their top priority is a home for retirement, likely downsized and ideally low maintenance (the ability to age in place is the motivator). They are willing to explore new living situations and are attracted to lifestyle communities, condominiums in mixed-use locations, and rental products that allow them to minimize upkeep responsibilities and pursue their own interests, travel, etc.

Example: Villas at Los Coyotes Country Club—Elevator-served, luxury stacked flats adjacent to a country club (which most buyers are members of).

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