America is famously youth-obsessed. Every few decades, we obsess over the next wave of young people, the new “it” generation. We talk about how they will change the world, drive trends, buy lots of stuff, and propel the economy. Take a look at the daily news headlines: “how Millennials spend their money”, “where Millennials want to work”, “what will Millennials watch this fall”…it goes on.
One industry that has been waiting for the massive conversion and rescue from Millennials is housing. When you hear about hopes of the next big housing boom, the designated saviors often are Millennials. When homeownership rate takes a dip? It’s because Millennials are not buying. We have shown a healthy appetite for housing trends related to Millennials, primarily driven by the abundance of new research available on this young-adult generation.
But how about Gen-Xers? They used to be the media darling. Sandwiched between Baby Boomers and Millennials, and with a smaller head count, are Gen-Xers the forgotten generation? We thought we would devote this week’s trend post to the former “slacker generation” that is making positive waves in housing today.
According to the fresh-off-the-press Modern Homebuyer Survey from ValueInsured, conducted during the first week of April among 1,047 nationally representative sample of U.S. adults, Gen-Xers are more likely to plan to spend more on their next home purchase than Millennials:
- 62% of all interested Gen-X homebuyers plan to buy a upgraded or “forever home”, compared to 58% of Millennials and 27% of Baby Boomers surveyed
- 53% of Gen-X homebuyers plan to spend over $250,000 on their next home purchase, compared to 35% of Millennials and 28% of Baby Boomers surveyed
- 28% of Gen-X homebuyers plan to spend over $500,000, compared to 19% of Millennials and 7% of Baby Boomers surveyed
Gen-Xers also tend to be more confident in the housing market, and to think more positively about the benefits of buying a home:
- 72% of all Gen-X Americans say buying a home in their neighborhood is a good investment, compared to 66% of Millennials and 63% of Baby Boomers who say the same
- 83% of all Gen-X Americans say buying a home is more financially beneficial than renting, compared to 78% of Millennials and 76% of Baby Boomers who say the same
- 82% of all Gen-X Americans say buying a home is one of the best investments they can make for themselves and their family, compared to 76% of Millennials and 74% of Baby Boomers who say the same
Gen-Xers may not be as sensational – or visible – a generation compared to Millennials. They are certainly not as large in size. But consider this: Gen-Xer have disproportionate purchasing power, having earned 31% of total U.S. income last year at just 25% of its population. Gen-Xers are also the glue of the sandwich generation, most likely to be the key household decision-maker and fiscal influencer in a multi-generational household. Given their positive attitudes toward homeownership, as well as their home purchasing power, Gen-Xers should never be treated as the forgotten generation – certainly not by the housing industry.