Millennials and baby boomers—two of the biggest generations in U.S. history—are in the market for homes in a big way.
According to a new Zillow report on the demographic breakdown of buyers over the last 10 years, Americans 60 years and older are more active in the housing market than a decade ago.
The median age of a recent buyer who bought a home in the past year was 44 in 2019, up from 40 in 2009. The share of recent buyers who are 60 years and older grew 47 percent from 2009 to 2019, while the share of recent buyers ages 18–39 fell 13 percent.
“Even before the pandemic, the largest-ever generation entering their 30s and the hangover from more than a decade of underbuilding were on a collision course set to define the U.S. housing market,” said Jeff Tucker, senior economist at Zillow. “The pandemic supercharged demand for housing, bringing the shortage into relief sooner than we expected, as millennials sought bigger homes with Zoom rooms, and older Americans accelerated retirement plans, spurring moving decisions.”
It’s not all bad news for younger buyers. Zillow analysis shows that Millennials are having more luck in less expensive areas, perhaps after being priced out of metro areas. Boomers, however, made up a bigger share in sunny retirement destinations, including Miami (36 percent), Tampa (34 percent) and Phoenix (32 percent).
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