While Millennials make up the largest contingent of potential homebuyers, they’re not without competition. Baby boomers have been buying at an accelerating rate as well, perhaps looking for retirement homes, or potentially buying for their children, who are probably Millennials. Average age of home buyers has been trending upward for years, but the Great Recession intensified the trend greatly.
This is because heavy competition favors the older generations. Millennials are generally first-time homebuyers without any equity, many are saddled with college debt from ever-increasing tuitions, and wage growth hasn’t even begun to keep up with inflation. What low supply existed was easily snatched up by those who could afford to pay above asking price, in all likelihood, those who had already owned a home for decades.