The Housing Market

A Closer Look at Homebuyers

Who’s buying the most homes these days? Can you guess? Use the arrows below to rank each generation from highest to lowest. You have three chances to get it right before the answer is revealed!

More About Recent Homebuyers

Here some interesting statistics from the National Association of REALTOR’s 2023 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report. Click on the plus (+) to expand each section.

Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers make up the largest share of sellers at 52 percent (30 percent Young Boomers and 22 percent Older Boomers).

Buyers 57 years and younger were more likely to purchase bigger home, while buyers 57 and older were more likely to downsize.

Baby Boomers and the Silent Generation are selling to move closer to friends and family or because their home is too large, while Millennials are selling because their house is too small, their neighborhood has become less desirable or for a job relocation.

Younger Boomers have owned their homes typically for 11 years before selling, while Older Boomers owned their homes for 16 years before selling.

Gen X

Buyers 43 to 57 (Gen Xers) comprised 24 percent of recent home buyers.

This group remains the highest-earning home buyer group, with a median income of $114,300 in 2021.

Gen X buyers were the second most likely to purchase a multi-generational home at 17 percent.

When looking at the reason to purchase a home, they were more likely in comparison to other ages to purchase for the desire to be closer to job/school/transit or for a job relocation or move.

Buyers 43 to 57 years remain the most racially and ethnically diverse population of home buyers, with 23 percent identifying they were a race other than White/Caucasian.


From the 2014 to 2022 report, Millennials had been the biggest share of buyers. However, the share declined this year.

Millennial buyers 24 to 32 years (Younger Millennials) and buyers 33 to 42 years (Older Millennials) are 28 percent of all buyers: Older Millennials at 16 percent and Younger Millennials at 12 percent of the share of home buyers.

Seventy percent of Younger Millennials and 46 percent of Older Millennials were first-time home buyers, more than other age groups.

Older Millennials had one of the highest shares of married couples (66 percent), while Younger Millennials had the highest share of unmarried couples (20 percent) buying homes.

Younger Millennials were the most educated age group, with 80 percent holding at least an associate’s degree, followed by Older Millennials.

When considering location, convenience to job was most important to this group, in comparison to others, when buying a home.

Gen Z

This year, the share of Gen Z aged 18 to 23 made up four percent of buyers and three percent of sellers. The share is a slight increase from last year’s report.

They purchased homes on the lowest median household income of $50,400 and purchased the smallest properties (under 1,500 square feet). Notably, 30 percent of Gen Z buyers moved directly from their family member’s home into homeownership. A location that was convenient to friends/family was most important to this group when buying a home.

The Silent Generation

Buyers 77 to 97 (The Silent Generation) represented the one of the smallest share of buyers at four percent. They were most likely to purchase to be closer to friends and family.

This group was also most likely to purchase in senior-related housing at 12 percent. They were more likely than others to choose a neighborhood based on convenience to health facilities.

They also had the highest percentage of military veterans at 41 percent (matching that of Older Boomers).

Silent Generation buyers were most likely to note they could move due to a household member’s health, however, expect to own the home 15 years.

Buyers continue to finance their home purchases, similar to years past.

Seventy-eight percent of home buyers financed their home purchase—a share that decreases as the age of the buyer increases.


Younger buyers continue to depend on savings for their downpayment, while older buyers use proceeds from the sale of their previous residence.

Twenty-two percent of Younger Millennials received downpayment help in the form of a gift or a loan from a friend or relative.


Older Millennial and Gen X buyers’ purchases were delayed the longest due to debt at a median of five years.

Buyers overall were delayed primarily by student loan debt and high rental costs holding back saving. In fact, 35 percent of Younger Millennials reported having student loan debt with a median loan balance of $30,000, compared to 30 percent of Older Millennials with a median of $40,000.

In contrast, only three percent of Older Boomers had student loan debt with median balance of $9,000. This may be due to not only their personal educational loans but accumulating debt from their children’s education loans.

It was most common for buyers to cut spending on luxury/nonessential items and on entertainment to save for their home purchase.

Most recent buyers who purchased new homes were looking to avoid renovations and problems with plumbing or electricity at 41 percent.

Buyers who purchased previously owned homes were most often considering a better price at 31 percent. Younger Boomers were more likely to purchase a new home for the ability to choose and customize design features.

There was only a median of 50 miles from the homes that recent buyers previously resided in and the homes that they purchased, up significantly from 15 miles last year. The median distance moved was highest among Older Baby Boomers at 90 miles, while the lowest was among Millennials at 15 miles.

Most Common Types of Homes Purchased

The most common type of home purchase continued to be the detached single-family home, which made up 79 percent of all homes purchased.

It was most common among all generations, but the Silent Generation continues to purchase apartments/condos at higher shares than other age groups.

Senior-related housing accounted for seven percent of buyers over the age of 60; that number was seven percent for Older Baby Boomers and 12 percent for the Silent Generation.

The typical home recently purchased was 1,800 square feet, had three bedrooms and two bathrooms, and was built in 1986.

The size of homes for Gen Xers was typically larger at 1,970 square feet, compared to Gen Zers at a median of 1,480. Older Baby Boomers typically purchased the newest homes, with the typical home being built in 1996.

Overall, buyers expected to live in their homes for a median of 15 years, up from 12 years last year. For Younger Millennials, the expected length of time was only 10 years compared to 20 years for Younger and Older Baby Boomers.

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