Room to Grow
As an older age group, Gen X’ers are often ready to buy in response to a growing family or changing needs– who have often outgrown smaller-size homes. They want to “trade up” which for them means to prioritize larger yards and flexible floor plans over other factors. They may also have more money to spend as we recover from the downturn.
Quality – and Value
Many bought homes during the boom and lost as much as 45% of their net worth from the decline. As a result, value buying is important to them. Home buying can be a fraught experience for Xers who are only too aware of financial risks, and want the best for their money—meaning high resale values and of course, sturdy quality. Despite the ups and downs of the financial market, Gen Xers are often better-educated and better-paid than either retirees or first-time buyers. Builders targeting this market will face the biggest competition from existing homes.
The Right Market
Builders might have a harder time isolating the markets where this group is most likely to look for their next home. A healthy or growing local economy goes a long way towards identifying places Gen X’ers flock to. Think Atlanta, Charlotte, Denver, St. Louis, and Columbus.
This cohort has the lowest level of belief in home ownership as part of the American Dream (just 64% vs. 73% of Boomers) but in some ways, they exhibit the highest demand as well. Don’t underestimate Generation X in your plans for 2016.