Millennials and baby boomers often steal the spotlight in real estate. But Generation X says it’s time for the housing market to pay more attention to them instead. Gen Xers are the only generation to purchase more homes last year than they did the previous one, according to the National Association of REALTORS® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends survey
Gen Xers, aged 37 to 51, made up 26 percent of home buyers in 2015, but grew that percentage to 28 percent in 2016.
“That group suffered the most” in the last recession, says Jonathan Smoke, chief economist of realtor.com®
. “They were entering homeownership at the peak of the housing bubble and were also the ones most likely to suffer job losses.” During the crisis, many in the generation saw their homes go underwater as they owed more than their home was worth.
But things are finally turning around for Gen Xers. The economy is stronger, housing values are up, and the job market is strengthening. Their incomes are up as well. Buyers earned a median of $106,600 a year, according to NAR’s survey. (Younger baby boomers, aged 52 to 61, earned $93,800 and millennials, aged 36 and younger, earned $82,000.)
“Now, they’re actually in their prime earning years,” Smoke says. “And they’re also far more likely to have families. It makes complete sense that they’re coming back.”
Generation X is the largest generation that has kids still living at home. As such, they’re moving for a better school district or finding a home that has enough bedrooms to accommodate their children, says Jessica Lautz, NAR’s managing director of survey research.
Still, Gen Xers may be buying more than they have in the past, but they aren’t the generation who is buying the most homes today. Millennials purchased about 34 percent of the homes on the market in 2016, according to NAR’s survey. They purchased the lowest-cost homes compared to the other generations—millennials home purchases had a median of $205,000, while Gen Xers spent the most on their home purchases at $261,000.
Source: “Guess Which Generation Is Making the Biggest Comeback in Real Estate,” realtor.com® (March 8, 2017)