The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) has released the Housing Preferences of the Boomer Generation: How They Compare to Other Home Buyers study to educate builders and other industry professionals about what baby boomers want compared to other home buyers.

Based on a comprehensive, nationwide survey of recent and prospective home buyers conducted in 2015, the study discusses how various designs influence the home purchase decision; the location, features and size of the homes consumers want, and the influence of certain events and people on the decision to move to another home. 

"This survey is a great resource for building professionals, as it provides an inside look at the things boomers, and other generations, are looking for in today's homes," said Rose Quint, NAHB's assistant vice president for survey research, and one of the study's authors. "As the housing market continues to recover, more consumers are in the position to purchase a home, and it's important for builders to have this knowledge about their customers."

The survey revealed that:

  • The majority of all buyers (65%), and boomers in particular (63%), would like to buy a single-family detached home.

  • Most home buyers (64%) prefer a single-story home, but there is great variation by generation: Millennials (35%), gen X'ers (49%), boomers (75%) and seniors (88%).

  • Fifty-eight percent of home buyers want a full or partial basement, but the preference declines with age: millennials (77%), gen X'ers (67%), boomers (50%) and seniors (43%).

  • When asked if they would buy a home without a living room, 37% of buyers say they would, 42% would not and 21% are not sure. The share of buyers willing to part with this formal space falls steadily with age: millennials (43%), gen X (40%), baby boomers (37%) and seniors (26%).

The survey also revealed that few buyers prefer a central city location, and only 14% of buyers overall are willing to pay more for a home out of pure concern for the environment.

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