Newsflash: Buyers From Different Generations Have Different Wants

Rohan Mathew

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It feels like the term “millennial” has been used to describe every age group from the 2000’s and up. But, the term “millennial” isn’t a blanket term used by older generations to describe someone fresh out of high school. A true millennial was born between 1981 to 1996 and the oldest of this group is approaching 40! Certainly not the young whipper-snappers Gen X and Baby Boomers think them to be!

So, when someone from this age group hires an agent to buy a house, they know exactly what they want. These buyers are starting families of their own and they’re starting to move up in their careers. Millennials aren’t the only buyers who have specific priorities – Gen X and Gen Z have different priorities, too. 

Generation X (1965 to 1980)

A Gen X buyer is someone who is between the ages of 41 to 56 and their children have flown the proverbial coop. These buyers tend to be in the market to either downsize and find something a little more conducive to their new child-free life. 

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According to 47.1% of agents who participated in Homelight’s 2021 survey, these buyers are keen on finding a property that is move-in ready and has space where they can entertain guests, have family functions, and enjoy a more relaxing life. Some of the outdoor features they’re interested in include: in-ground swimming pool and hot tub, upgraded patio or deck, and an outdoor kitchen.

Millennial Generation (1981 to 1996)

Millennials are between 25 and 40 years old and are at the age where they’re embracing what it means to be an adult. They’re having families, they’re making moves in their careers, and they’re looking to set themselves up for a happy future. So when they’re searching for a house, 64.7% of realtors say their clients are focused on finding a home in a good school district and is located near the workplace. 

But it’s worth noting that now that businesses are embracing a hybrid work week (or are allowing employees to work remotely on a permanent basis), buyers are considering moving to be closer to family. They may also consider relocating to a new neighborhood that is in an area that’s less crowded and/or less expensive than their current area.

Generation Z (1997 to 2012)

As hard as it may be, 24% of buyers are from the Gen Z age group (the oldest being 24!). While these buyers are just coming into their own and are embracing adult life, this age group knows exactly what they want. This age group is career-minded and aren’t afraid to work hard to get what they want. They live a fast paced life, so it’s no surprise that 40.5% of agents say that clients in this group aren’t interested in homes that require work. They want properties that are move-in ready and have a home office. Although these folks are hard workers, they want to live it up and they’re willing to sacrifice square footage if they’re located near the city.

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Priorities for today’s homebuyers have changed

Yesterday’s buyers would clamour for properties that had open floor plans, spa-like bathrooms, and custom kitchens. These features are still desirable, but the priorities of today’s buyers have changed. The features buyers are looking for today reflect strongly on the age of the buyer. 

Gen X buyers want to enjoy life without kids. Millennials want to live in an area where their children can get a good education. Gen Z buyers want to enjoy the nightlife while moving forward in their careers, so they don’t have time to take on renovation projects. 

The housing market is always evolving and what may be in demand today may not be so desirable tomorrow. However, it’s safe to say that generational needs will always play a role in what property someone will buy.