Posted April 18, 2016 by RentJungleEach generation is defined with traits and characteristics that are result of the time they grew up. Baby Boomers experienced the moon landing, the Cold War, and Woodstock. Generation X saw the OJ Simpson trial, the wide use of personal computers, and Live Aid. Millennials grew up during the time of the 9/11 attacks, introduction to social media, and the popularity of reality of TV. Some differences between the generations are obvious like how Millennials prefer electronic communication while Baby Boomers like to have hard copies. While others are less apparent such as why Baby Boomers are more loyal to employers and Generation X is more loyal to their professions.
When it comes to renting and buying homes, each generation has different preferences as well. In the 1970s, couples usually only rented for about 2.6 years before buying their first home. Nowadays, the median age of first-time home buyers today is around 32.5 years old. To put that in perspective, this means that for roughly 14.5 years Millennials are either renting or living with family after they graduate high school.
In another aspect, Millennials are different from Generation X as well. In the 1980s, around 52% of first-time home buyers were married. Today, only 40% of people buying their first house are married.
Not everything has changed over the years, the median income for first-time home buyers has been around $54,000 (adjusted for inflation) since the 1970s. But there is a major difference in how much they are spending on their first house in relation to that income. In the 1970s, people spent around 1.7x their annual income while today they spend about 2.8x their annual income. This may explain why 58% of people share buying single-family homes.
Overall, each generation has its own struggles, strengths, and experiences that shape the world they live in. It will be interesting to see where Generation Z takes us and how they will handle the renting/buying process.