All Grown Up; Ready to Buy

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Generation Xers now have families of their own and represent a strong market for today's builders.

August 01, 2004

Generation Xers are all grown up, with the category's first borns turning 40 next year.

Once called the "slacker generation," they now have families of their own and represent a strong market for today's builders. That was the message from J. Walker Smith, president of Yankelovich Partners Inc., a branding and marketing consultancy, during a presentation at the Pacific Coast Builder's Conference in June.

According to the 2003 Yankelovich MONITOR, an annual study of consumer attitudes, Gen Xers, born between 1965 and 1987, seek a return to more traditional lifestyles. "Planned communities that foster togetherness will resonate with these buyers," he said, noting that 60 percent of Xers in the study said they would like to see their relationships with neighbors return to more traditional standards. Therefore, builders and developers should offer pedestrian paths, safety features, recreation facilities and community amenities, Smith said.

Seventy percent of Gen Xer moms say they would rather stay home with their children, compared with 60 percent of Boomers who answered that way.

Gen Xers also are comfortable with technology, he reported, with 42 percent citing they like the idea of living in a "smart home," as compared to 33% of boomers.

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