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The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) recently released a study entitled: Housing Preferences of the Boomer Generation: How They Compare to Other Home Buyers. The study compared the house preferences of seniors, boomers, gen X-ers, and millennials.

Millennials are currently entering the housing market as first-time homebuyers in increasing numbers.  Their housing preferences are different from previous generations and, believe it or not, many prefer new homes over resale homes.

The generations possessed certain similarities such as wanting exterior lighting and ceiling fans. However, there were differences such as the size of the homes that the groups preferred.

In all generations, most buyers (65%) want single-family detached homes.  Most buyers (64%) prefer single-story homes, but this trend is driven by older buyers.

Millennials (and Gen Xers) want more space than they currently have in their homes, while baby boomers and seniors are content with their home size or even want to downsize some. Millennials are looking for homes with more than 2,300 square feet, while boomers and seniors want homes with less than 1,900 square feet.

Boomers want connectivity between their indoor and outdoor spaces.  By blurring the lines between indoors and outdoors by using the same flooring materials, it visually adds square footage to the home.  They also want lots of windows and the bigger the better.

Millennials want lots of outside space.  Millennials were the only group to rank three outdoor spaces in their top ten list:  a patio, deck and a front porch.

Interestingly, most homebuyers in all generations prefer to live outside the city with only 8% choosing city life.  Two-thirds of all buyers prefer the suburbs while over a quarter prefer more rural areas.

These trends are important to watch as more millennials enter the market and their trends continue to influence the real estate market for years to come.