Size Matters: How Much Space Do Real Estate Buyers Want in a Home?

A recent report by the National Association of House Builders (NAHB), entitled, Housing Preferences of the Boomer Generation: How They Compare to Other Home Buyers, has shed some interesting new light on the requirements of the various generations in terms of the size of their homes and the number of bedrooms.

Unsurprisingly, when asked about their current requirements, most buyers indicated a desire for a larger home: all buyers suggested that they would prefer to have around 2,020 square feet, which is 9% more than their current square footage at 1,859. 

Interestingly, however, the younger generational cohorts, the Millennials and Generation-X, wanted more space; whereas the Seniors and the Baby Boomers desired less.

Data from the report displayed in the graph below, shows Millennials craving the most at 2,375 square feet, with Gen-Xers requiring slightly less at 2,315 square feet. Boomers required 1,879, which is little different from their current home size, and Seniors required less than their current square footage, at 1,791.

This suggests that Boomers and Seniors are either in their ideal home size already or they wish to downsize, whereas Millennials and Gen-Xers are desirous of bigger homes!

A similar picture is seen in terms of the number of bedrooms. 

Data from the report suggests that around half of home buyers require 3 bedrooms, whereas a sizable third of all buyers require 4 or more bedrooms.  Perhaps unsurprisingly it is in the Millennials and Gen-Xers where the predominant desire for more rooms is to be found: 43% and 48% respectively. 

Only 20% of the more senior generations require 4 or more rooms, with half of Boomers and Seniors expressing a need for 3 bedrooms as their first preference.

So when it comes to the square footage of a home and the number of bedrooms, size definitely matters and in different proportions between the generations.

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William Trevor

William Trevor

Licensed Real Estate Salesperson
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