If you thought there were a lot of first-time home buyers over the past 10 years, check out what’s coming: An extra 3.11 million people at prime first-time home-buying age. From 2019 through 2028, 44.9 million people will turn 34, the median age of current first-time home buyers. That’s an increase of 7.4% from the past 10 years, when 41.8 million people passed that threshold. And while we can’t say for sure whether the younger group will buy homes as readily when they hit their mid-thirties, by the sheer heft of their numbers, they will have an impact on the market.
Millennials hold such fascination partly because they are a massive generation, and that generational heft has yet to fully hit the home-buying market. The largest 3-year cohort in the U.S. is only 24 to 26 years old, yet the median age of the first-time home buyer is 34.
To imagine the scale of the millennial generation’s impact on housing, let’s look at the size of the U.S. population ages 35 to 44 relative to the cohort aged 24 to 33. We’ll call the older set “past first-time home buyers” and the younger set “up-and-coming” first- time buyers. There are 3.11 million more up-and-coming than past first-time home buyers.