Boomers vs. Millennials: The Two Generations Shaping the Real Estate Landscape

The real estate market, like any sector, is profoundly influenced by demographics. Are baby boomers pushing millennials out of the housing market? 

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Two such demographics, Baby Boomers and Millennials, stand out in particular for their unique positions and impacts on the housing market. Their decisions, needs, and resources are likely to dictate the real estate trends of the coming years.

Who are the Baby Boomers?

Age Range: Born between 1946 and 1964, Baby Boomers are currently between 59 and 77 years old.

Economic Powerhouse:

They grew up in a post-World War II era of prosperity and, thus, have enjoyed significant economic advantages.


A significant portion of Boomers either own homes outright or have considerable equity built up, thanks to years of mortgage payments and the appreciation of real estate values over the decades.

Comfort and Stability:

Many are settled in their homes, having raised families in them and are now enjoying their retirement years.

Are baby boomers to blame for the housing shortage?

Real Estate Impact:

With their homes paid off or close to it, Boomers are in control when it comes to housing inventory. They hold the keys to a substantial portion of the country's desirable real estate, from long-held family residences to vacation homes. Their decisions to sell, downsize, or transfer property ownership will play a pivotal role in determining market availability.

Who are the Millennials?

Age Range: Born between 1981 and 1996, Millennials are currently between 27 and 42 years old.


Digital Natives:

Growing up during the digital revolution, they are tech-savvy and value connectivity.

Prime Buying Age:

Statistics reveal that individuals between the ages of 32-34 are the most likely to purchase homes.

Changing Life Circumstances:

Many Millennials are in the thick of major life transitions - from getting married and starting families to climbing the corporate ladder.

Are most millennials homeowners?

Real Estate Impact:

Millennials are poised to drive the demand side of the real estate market. Their life transitions necessitate larger living spaces, and as they climb up their career ladders, their purchasing power increases. As this group seeks to buy, their demands will shape market trends, home designs, and community structures.

The Symbiotic Real Estate Relationship

While Boomers have control over the supply side (inventory), Millennials are rapidly becoming the primary force on the demand side. Boomers are not under immense pressure to sell their homes, with health-related reasons being a primary motivation for those who do. Conversely, Millennials face life pressures that necessitate home purchases, such as the desire for more space to accommodate growing families or the need to relocate for job opportunities.

The interplay between Boomers and Millennials is fascinating. The former holds the real estate reins, determining inventory flow based on their needs or desires, while the latter, with their sheer numbers and life stage requirements, fuel the market's demand.

It's a delicate balance, with Boomers' decisions to release property affecting the availability for eager Millennial buyers. As we look to the future of the real estate market, understanding the motivations and tendencies of these two demographics will be crucial for anyone involved in the industry.

🏢 Daryl Judy – Associate Broker, Washington Fine Properties
☎️ (202) 380-7219 • 📨 [email protected]
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