Four Takeaways from NAR’s 2024 Generational Trends Report

The National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) recently released its annual report on Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends for 2024, reviewing market trends for 2023. Check out our summary of four major takeaways from this year’s report and what they mean for the real estate industry:

1. Millennials surpassed Baby Boomers to reclaim their place as the largest group of homebuyers, making up 38% of the homebuying market, compared to Boomers’ 31%. The last few years have seen a sort of tug-of-war between these two generations for the top homebuying demographic. “This notable rise is attributed to both Younger Millennials stepping into homeownership for the first time and Older Millennials transitioning to larger homes that suit their evolving needs,” says Dr. Jessica Lautz, NAR’s Deputy Chief Economist and Vice President of Research. Millennials were also the most likely generation to depend on real estate agent referrals, with 53% of Younger Millennials and 45% of Older Millennials turning to trusted friends, relatives or neighbors for recommendations.

2. Baby Boomers continued to make up the largest demographic of home sellers at 45%. Older Boomers (ages 69 to 77) were most likely to downsize, whether due to retirement, wanting to lighten their load of home maintenance, or choosing to be closer to family and friends. Compared to other generations, Boomers have benefited from longer periods of homeownership and therefore have substantial equity with which to leverage “strategic housing trades," according to Dr. Lautz. Boomers were also the most likely generation to choose to live in small towns or rural areas, suggesting a preference for quiet and close-knit communities.

3. There was a rise in first-time buyers across several generations, with 32% of all homebuyers buying for the first time, an increase from 26% in 2022. Younger Millennials (ages 25-33) led this category, with 75% entering the homebuying process for the first time, an increase from 70% the previous year. Forty-four percent of Older Millennials (ages 34-43) were first-time buyers, followed by 24% of Gen X (ages 44-58).

4. Gen Z is emerging as a unique market presence. Though they make up the smallest demographic of homebuyers at only 3%, more than half of these Gen Z buyers (ages 18-24) are single and an impressive one in three are single women, both proportions that are significantly higher than in any other age group. As the most internet-savvy and climate-conscious generation, Gen Z buyers have likely done their research and are seeking a home that will sustain them for as long as possible. Along with Younger Millennials, they are the most likely to purchase older homes.

Industry professionals can continue to cater to each generation by using data to create a good first impression, understanding and honoring customer preferences, and offering care and respect to the values and needs of each. For example, Baby Boomers will appreciate careful assistance with paperwork and inspections, touring areas that offer their valued criteria, and personalized touches, such as a hand-written thank-you note upon closing. As the generation most dependent on mobile devices, Millennials will welcome professionals who provide digital options like neighborhood search apps and virtual tours. Though the most educated age group, 41% of Younger Millennials had student loan debt in 2023, and will thus appreciate assistance with financing options. For more ideas, check out our flyer on understanding generational trends.

There’s a reason countless Americans have relied on Old Republic Title for over a century. Through changing markets and generational trends, we continue to offer personalized service and a variety of title insurance resources designed to help our customers protect one of their biggest investments. Whenever you’re ready to buy or sell your home, Old Republic Title will be there to help.


Copyright ©2024 “Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report 2024.” NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission. April 3, 2024.