Nearly 75% of Homebuyers and Sellers Are Millennial and Younger — What Trends Are Biggest Draws?

Back view of hugging couple standing with real estate agent in front of house for sale.
KatarzynaBialasiewicz / iStock.com

One of the key themes of the 2022 U.S. housing market is that a lot of people want to buy a new home and a lot want to sell, but it’s becoming increasingly difficult to do either because of record-high home prices, rising mortgage rates and increased competition.

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A new Realtor.com survey released on May 24 found that 72% of home sellers also plan to buy this year. That’s a challenge in the current environment. As Realtor.com noted, many home buyers are being priced out of the market, while sellers face rising competition from an influx of other sellers who weren’t in the market a year ago.

The survey of 3,212 adults, conducted in April by HarrisX, found that younger Americans are particularly active in the housing market. The largest demographic group of seller-buyers active in this year’s market are millennials (47%). Seller-buyers in the Gen Z cohort (25%) are the second largest group, followed by Gen X (15%) and baby boomers (12%).

“As seller-buyers, many stand to profit from record-high home prices, but are also challenged by the lack of affordable listings and rising cost pressures,” George Ratiu, senior economist and manager of economic research at Realtor.com, said in a press release.

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Another trend is that nearly half (45%) of 2022 seller-buyers plan to buy outside of their current towns, including 9% who anticipate moving to another state. The main reasons given were a lower cost of housing (25% of respondents), warmer climate (23%), greater access to outdoor activities (19%) and proximity to family and friends (19%). The majority of 2022 seller-buyers live in the South (37%) or West (33%).

Among the survey’s other key findings:

  • Half of those in the market are eyeing prices of $500,000 or less on both the sell side (49%) and buy side (53%). The median new home price in April 2022 rose 19.6% from a year earlier to a record $450,600, Reuters reported, while the average price surged 31.2% to $570,300.
  • Among the current market conditions most likely to impact plans, respondents most frequently cited inflation (39%) and rising home prices (36%).
  • When asked about top concerns specific to selling and buying simultaneously, top responses were managing the financial logistics of both transactions (36%), managing the logistics of moving (32%), home prices (32%), the final price of the home they are selling (27%) and finding a home within budget (26%).

The study concluded that although seller-buyers face the same challenges as any other buyers, they could offer a reprieve from the current shortage of homes for sale.

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About the Author

Vance Cariaga is a London-based writer, editor and journalist who previously held staff positions at Investor’s Business Daily, The Charlotte Business Journal and The Charlotte Observer. His work also appeared in Charlotte Magazine, Street & Smith’s Sports Business Journal and Business North Carolina magazine. He holds a B.A. in English from Appalachian State University and studied journalism at the University of South Carolina. His reporting earned awards from the North Carolina Press Association, the Green Eyeshade Awards and AlterNet. In addition to journalism, he has worked in banking, accounting and restaurant management. A native of North Carolina who also writes fiction, Vance’s short story, “Saint Christopher,” placed second in the 2019 Writer’s Digest Short Short Story Competition. Two of his short stories appear in With One Eye on the Cows, an anthology published by Ad Hoc Fiction in 2019. His debut novel, Voodoo Hideaway, was published in 2021 by Atmosphere Press.

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