Millennials may get a lot of the attention, but members of Generation X are the ones who have been driving the housing market lately. Gen Xers, who are between the ages of 37 and 51, make up the second largest share of home buyers, comprising 28 percent in 2016, according to data from the National Association of REALTORS®. They also are buying the largest, most expensive homes compared to any other generation.
The median price of homes purchased by Gen X buyers is $261,000, and the median size of the homes is 2,100 square feet, according to NAR. Further, Gen Xers boast a median household income of $106,600, higher than any other generation.
Some Gen Xers are drawn to previously owned homes for their charm and character, while others prefer new homes in order to customize design features, NAR data shows. Gen X buyers are also the most likely to purchase a home in neighborhoods that are convenient to schools. But they’re willing to compromise: 21 percent of Gen Xers indicate a willingness to make concessions on the condition of a home, more than any other generation.
The largest share of sellers are also members of Gen X at 29 percent, according to NAR. They are selling homes at a median price of $240,000. One in five Gen X sellers say they wanted to sell earlier but couldn’t because their home had been worth less than their mortgage. On average, Gen X sellers purchased their home 10 years ago.
Other findings about Gen X home buyers include:
- They tend to have the largest families: 62 percent have at least one child under the age of 18 years old living at home; 30 percent have two children.
- Sixty-eight percent are married couples, more than any other generation.
- The primary reasons they purchase a home are the desire for a larger home, job-related relocation, or a change in family situation.
- The median age of this group is 43 years old.
- They have the largest number of single-family home purchasers at 87 percent.
- They are the most racially and ethnically diverse group of home buyers (21 percent identify their race as other than white/Caucasian) and have the highest percentage of non-English speakers.
If you’re confused by labels given to the five generations with an active role in the marketplace, this breakdown, courtesy of the Center for Generational Kinetics, should help:
- Gen Z, iGen, or Centennials: Born 1996 and later
- Millennials or Gen Y: Born 1977 to 1995
- Generation X: Born 1965 to 1976
- Baby Boomers: Born 1946 to 1964
- Traditionalists or Silent Generation: Born 1945 and before