The National Association of REALTORS® released the 2024 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends report providing key insights on buyers and sellers across different generations. The report also includes some intel on why clients think REALTORS® were beneficial in their home-buying experience. Let’s explore some of the highlights from this report and how things have changed demographically in the market.

The number of first-time buyers grew.

According to the report, 32% of all buyers purchased a home for the first time, up from 26% last year. Looking across generations, the number of younger millennials (25–33-year-olds) that became first-time home buyers went from 70% to 75%, a sign that even with the affordability challenges currently in the market, buying a home is still a priority. Generation X (44–58-year-olds) also saw an increase in first-time home buyers going up from 21% to 24% this year.

Gen Z may be a small share of the home-buying market, but they are emerging.

Although Gen Z (18–24-year-olds) made up the smallest portion of home buyers at 3%, they are an important group to keep in mind as they jump into the housing market. The median age of Gen Z buyers was 21 years old, with single females making up 31% of the buyer households, the highest across all generations. When choosing a home, 55% of Gen Z cited convenience to friends/family as a factor in choosing a neighborhood and commuting costs as a very important environmentally friendly feature.

Millennials greatly benefited from using agents.

For younger generations, real estate agents were an important resource with 82% of younger millennials stating the main benefit agents provided them was in understanding the home-buying process. Most buyers used an agent or broker to purchase their home, with 91% of younger millennials and 90% of older millennials having the highest agent usage. Overall, most buyers (75%) said they would definitely use their agent again or recommend them to someone else.

Baby Boomers remain big sellers.

Although the percentage of Baby Boomers (59–77-year-olds) who sold their home decreased from 52 to 45%, they still make up the largest percentage of home sellers. Most Boomers have stayed in their previous home for a long period of time with the median tenure at 15 years, meaning they have more equity built up for when they are ready to sell. Both Boomers and the Silent Generation (78–98-year-olds) cited being close to friends and family as the primary reason for selling their homes. The primary reason millennials sold their previous home was because it was too small, with older millennials increasing their home size by 600 sq ft.

Homeownership provides important benefits for current and future generations. As the housing market continues to change, so do the demographics of buyers and sellers. Agents and brokers can use this data to keep track of and understand the needs of each generation who rely on them as a key source of information when buying and/or selling a home.

For more information on housing, demographic, and economic trends in Virginia, be sure to check out Virginia REALTORS® other Economic Insights blogs.