Gen-X purchases were higher this year, accounting for 28% of home purchases, up from 26% last year and the highest level since 2014.
"Gen-X sellers' median tenure in their previous home was 10 years, which puts many of them selling a property they bought right around the time home values were on the precipice of declining," said NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun. "Fortunately, the much stronger job market and 41 percent cumulative rise in home prices since 2011 have helped a growing number build enough equity to finally sell and trade up to a larger home. More Gen X sellers are expected this year and are definitely needed to ease the inventory shortages in much of the country."
Meanwhile, for the fourth consecutive year, millennials were the largest group of homebuyers, accounting for 34% of purchases; baby boomers accounted for 30%, and the silent generation made up 8%.
When it came to children and home purchases, younger boomers were considerate of their young-adult children. They were the most likely to buy a multi-generational home, with 20% compared with 16% last year. Increasing rent prices and finances have been causing their children over 18 to move back or not leave at all, with 30% staying put, compared with 27% last year.
"The job market is very healthy for young adults with a college education, but repaying student debt and dealing with ever-increasing rents on an entry-level salary are forcing many to either shack-up with several roommates or move back home," Yun said. "This growing trend of delayed household formation is one of the main contributors to the nation's low homeownership rate."
As for millennials, 49% of buyers had at least one child – an increase from 45% last year and 43% two years ago.
"Millennial buyers, at 85 percent, were the most likely generation to view their home purchase as a good financial investment," Yun added. "These strong feelings bode well for even greater demand in the future as more millennials settle down and begin raising families. A significant boost in new and existing inventory will go a long way to ensuring the opportunity is there for more of them to reach the market."
Morning Briefing: Millennials buy bigger in the ‘burbs
Older millennials, Gen Xers more likely to buy homes – survey
2016 year proved to be a relatively active time for Generation X home purchases, and more children are living with millennials and boomers, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors.