03 May When it comes to home buying, let’s not forget about Gen X
Millennials and Boomers – If you’ve kept up with demographics and marketing (or even just scrolled through your social feed) recently, you’re used to hearing all about these two demographics. But, there’s one demographic that isn’t getting the same fanfare, even though they are having a major moment in the real estate industry – the Gen X-ers.
Born between roughly 1964 and 1985, Gen X is frequently referred to as the MTV Generation, and as a whole, they are one of the most educated, diverse and philanthropic of the Generations. However, due to high levels of debt and graduating into a shaky economy that would turn into the recession, Gen X was the first generation to reverse the historical trend of the new generation making more money than their parents. This news, along with the rise in popularity of ‘The Millennial’ and the omni-presence of their parents, ‘The Boomers’ led to Gen X being less closely studied and more of an afterthought in the demographic discussion.
But, while there is still much excitement surrounding the millennials and the boomers, it seems it’s time to give Gen X their due.
According to the Housing Opportunities and Market Experience survey released this year, Gen X is ready and willing to buy and 26% of recent home sales are attributed to members of Gen X. Having figured out how to thrive in a sometimes uncertain economy, these members of Gen X have found their footing – many through entrepreneurial endeavors – and are at the height of their earning ability. And, across the county, 80-90% of Gen Xers believe that home ownership is a smart financial decision. Though just a few years ago, it seemed that this demographic was more interested in renting than owning a home, a shift is happening, and 2/3 of those surveyed owned their own home.
Attribute it to their increased stability, their growing families, or the fact that they will outnumber boomers in the next 15 years, but Gen X is becoming a home buying force. However, do we know what they’re looking for in homes? Given their propensity for philanthropic issues, environmentally conscious homes are popular among this demographic, as are locations that are close-in to major urban centers to cut down on emissions. However, they’re not as apt as the younger millennials to look for urban condos and are currently the largest demographic purchasing detached single-family homes. Gen X is also looking for a large outdoor area, plenty of storage and the option for a home office. Though, they do share some similarities with their younger cohorts, high-speed web access is a must, while formal spaces (thinking living and dining rooms) are not considered a necessity. Also, this is the generation that is going to exhaust all avenues of research (from online listings to open houses to interviewing multiple agents) to be sure they find what they want at the right price.
With all of the hype surrounding boomers and millennials, it’s easy to overlook the generation separating the two. However, as Gen X thrives and raises their own children, it’s time to take into consideration that they may rival the millennials with their buying power – and desire to buy – in the coming years.
“house” (CC BY 2.0) by deovolenti