Millennials, older buyers looking for different homes

Special to The Log

The typical spring home buyer this year is on the hunt for a three-bedroom, two-bathroom house with a garage and updated kitchen, according to a new survey of more than 1,000 home shoppers.

Forty-four percent of respondents said they wanted a three-bedroom home, and 93 percent said they wanted a home with at least two bathrooms. But the garage is becoming increasingly important to home shoppers, too, with 27 percent rating it as one of the most important home features, even above an updated kitchen (24 percent) and open floor plan (20 percent).

Privacy is driving the purchase decisions of many older buyers, as more than 20 percent of those 55 and older said that having a space of their own is their main goal, followed by the physical comforts and stability of homeownership. On the other hand, 17 percent of millennial buyers placed the highest weight on family needs when house hunting, followed by stability (14 percent) and personal expression (13 percent). Only 12 percent of buyers younger than 55 cited privacy as their chief priority.’s survey also showed that increasing rental costs are pushing more young adults toward homeownership, as 23 percent of buyers between the ages of 18 and 34 reported rising rents as a trigger for their recent home purchase.

“Although record-low inventory and high prices make this housing market unique, some classic features still top most shoppers’ wish lists,” said Danielle Hale, chief economist for “At the same time, we found some clear differences in priorities. For instance, older buyers are concerned with privacy and being able to age comfortably, while millennials place more emphasis on family needs, stability, and personal expression.”

The survey also found some differences among the generations when it comes to architecture preferences. Millennials desired contemporary and colonial homes, while older buyers preferred ranches. Only 6 percent of millennials favored ranch homes.

This article was contributed to The Log by National Association of Realtors.