Buying a house is one of the most important customer journeys that a person can take, yet Millennials seem to be holding back on this endeavor, accounting for a mere 16 percent of home searchers. And the few Millennials that do participate in the housing market are mostly economically-minded women.

America’s house hunters profiled  

According to the latest generational trends report by the National Association of REALTORS®, online search for properties is the first step taken in a home search by nearly all generations of home buyers. We collected three months of purchase intent activity on the real-estate website Zillow and analyzed it by consumer socio-demographics.

Here’s what we’ve learned from analyzing America’s home hunting activity on Zillow:

  • Millennials are underrepresented. Millennials (18 to 34 years old) make up 31 percent of the adult population but only represent 16 percent of home searchers.
  • Millennial Moms are leading the home search trend. More Millennial females are house hunting than Millennial males. This is especially true for Millennial Parents (25 to 34 years old), with Millennial Moms 3.3 times more likely to house hunt than Millennial Dads. In fact, while women make up roughly 61 percent of the younger Millennial house hunters, they represent a massive 77 percent among older Millennial house hunters.

This gender gap almost closes among older Baby Boomers (55 to 64 years old), and then widens again among those age 65 and older.

Home purchase interest by age group on Jumpshot

  • There are state specific trends. In general, Millennials are more active house hunters in states with lower than average home prices. Millennial residents of states where the average home price is below $250,000, such as Indiana, South Carolina, Iowa, Missouri, and Louisiana, display higher than average participation rates in the housing market. These Millennials are 20 percent more likely to house hunt than the general population. This differs from Millennials in Washington D.C, where the average home price exceeds $640,000. These Millennials are 36 percent less likely to search for a home than the national average.

Percentage of millennials searching for home purchase by average listing price on Jumpshot

While Millennials’ searches are economically minded, Millennial house hunters are less interested in their credit score than other generations. We found that after house hunting on Zillow, Gen Xers were 44 percent more likely to check their credit score on the free credit reporting service Credit Karma than Millennial house hunters.

Bottom line: You cannot optimize your outreach to elevate sales without understanding your customers, including their drives and motivations. According to Jumpshot’s home purchase data and analysis, the secret to marketing and selling homes to Millennials is to present them with affordable options that appeal to female buyers. Focusing on female buyers will also help with other customer cohorts, as the data reflects that women do more house hunting than men, regardless of their age.