Embracing the avocado upcharge and boasting an impressive vinyl collection are days of yore. Now, millennials are pursuing homeownership and becoming the driving force in the residential real estate market, a role they’ll likely continue to play for decades to come (*humble brag*). As the older millennial demographic and largest cohort in America approaches their late 30’s, it’s no surprise that an increasing number are looking to plant their roots, purchase a home and start a family. (Take the baton, Gen Z!)

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) 2019 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report, older millennials had the largest buyer share of married couples (69%) and were the most likely to have children under the age of 18 living at home (58%). While the majority of homebuyers in all age groups are married couples, single buyers and unmarried couples continue to make a mark on the real estate market.

Here are a few highlights from the report:

  • Millennials overall remain the largest generation of homebuyers (37%) making them the most active generation of buyers for the sixth consecutive year.
  • 86% of Younger Millennials and 52% of Older Millennials were first-time homebuyers, more than other age groups.
  • 1 in 4 Younger Boomer and Silent Gen buyers are single females, with many entering the market after a divorce or death of a spouse.
  • Older Millennials are most likely to have children under the age of 18 in the home (69%)
  • Gen Xers are now most likely to buy a multi-generational home (16%) either because adult children moved back home or never left.
  • Younger Millennials purchase homes through agents, with the highest share of any generation (92%)

As older millennials (age 29-38) are now entering the prime earning stages of their careers, and the size and costs of homes they purchase reflect this. Their choices are falling more in line with their Gen X and boomer counterparts. Older millennials reported a median household income of $101,200 and purchase homes with a median price of $274,000, comparable to Gen Xers and younger boomers.

Younger millennials (age 21-28), meanwhile, are purchasing the least expensive homes and smallest homes ($177,000 and 1,600 square feet), meaning they face the greatest challenge in finding affordable inventory. They reported a median household income of $71,200.

In addition, millennials are choosing to plant roots in Salt Lake City, Minneapolis, and Pittsburgh at higher rates than in any other of the nation’s 50 largest metro areas. Salt Lake City currently ranks #1 hottest millennial housing market in the nation, according to a report done by Lending Tree that analyzed new purchase mortgage requests. Utah’s capital city had 51% of purchase requests coming from millennials, with 28 as the average age of home buyers and $234,391 as the average millennial requested loan amount.

While millennials are often stereotyped as adolescents, the reality is that this generation is moving into or well into adulthood, with many of them actively pursuing careers, having children and buying homes. The biggest challenge for millennial homebuyers is securing enough money for a down payment. Younger millennials were the most likely to say saving for a down payment was the most difficult task in the home buying process, with the majority reporting that student loan debt delayed their home purchase (61%). However, they indicated that this particular debt only delayed them a median of two years − the shortest delay of all generations.

Welcome to homeownership, Gen Y!