"At one end of the spectrum, millions of Baby-Boomers-turned-empty-nesters are seeking to downsize. At the other end, Millennials are buying pricier homes than typical first-timers, choosing style over footage. The net result is that the nation's two largest demographic groups are now desiring similar features in their homes.
Moreover, we are witnessing a rise in discretionary renting. Overall, today’s buyers prefer more density and less lawn, more upgrades but less footage, and have an increased willingness to rent rather than own their own home.
Overall, Millennials’ housing preferences seem pretty similar to those of empty nesters. Some Millennials are eschewing the distant starter home and choosing to buy closer to urban centers at a higher price per square foot.
So while first-time buyers are moving up the price curve while empty nesters are moving down, the net result is that in many cases, Millennials are looking for the same kind of homes as their parents.
Another area where Boomers and Millennials have something in common is an increased tendency to rent, rather than own their homes. Millennials are certainly renting longer, as evidenced by the fact that homeownership rates for household heads below 35 years old are historically depressed. But older households are also selling their homes and becoming renters in greater numbers than before." - Stephen Kim via Barclays