Thirty six percent of all home purchases in the United States in 2017 were made by millennials, an uptick of two percent from the previous year and the fifth year in a row they have been the most active generation of buyers, according to the National Association of Realtors® 2018 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study. Gen X buyers were second with 26 percent, younger baby boomers made up 18 percent of sales, older baby boomers made up 14 percent of sales, and the Silent Generation made up six percent.
Even though millennial sales reached an all-time survey high, low inventory pushed home prices out of reach for many, according to the study. NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said, “Realtors® throughout the country have noticed both the notable upturn in buyer interest from young adults over the past year, as well as mounting frustration once they begin actively searching for a home to buy. Prices keep rising for the limited number of listings on the market they can afford, which is creating stark competition, speedy price growth and the need to save more in order to buy.”The study found that these inventory constraints and higher housing costs kept the buying activity of millennials “subdued and prevented some from leaving the more affordable confines of their Gen X and baby boomer parents’ homes.”
As far as purchasing multi-generational homes, younger boomers were tops with 20 percent, and 39 percent of those bought a multi-generational home due to adult children living at home. Twenty two percent of those boomers bought a multi-generational home because of their parents living in the home. Fifteen percent of Gen X buyers bought a multi-generational home, with 35 percent of those buying due to adult children and 30 percent due to parents living with them.
“Costly rents and growing student debt balances appear to make living at home more appealing, affordable and increasingly more common among young adults just entering the workforce,” said Yun. “Even in situations where three generations are all cramped under the same roof, it can significantly help some millennials eventually transition straight to homeownership. Eighteen percent of millennial buyers in the survey said their family home was their previous living arrangement.”