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Will Generation X bring the housing market back to life?

NAHB hopeful that Generation X will revitalize homebuying market.

NAHB hopeful that Generation X will revitalize homebuying market.

Real estate experts are hopeful that Generation X'ers will serve as the saviors for the homebuying market.

Speaking at an educational webinar sponsored by the National Association of Home Builders, Mollie Carmichael said Generation X'ers - men and women between the ages of 31 and 45 - are likely to start buying because many of them have families they need to support.

"They are in full force with their careers and they need to accommodate growing families," said Carmichael, principal of a real estate firm based in Irvine, California.

But as webinar panelist Heather McCune said, Generation X'ers won't be moving just to move. She said they definitely have tastes and homebuilders should know what those preferences are.

"The notion of 'build it and they will come' no longer works," said McCune, director of marketing at an architectural firm in California. "Design matters."

The NAHB has generally been somewhat pessimistic about how active they'll be this year building new homes. But for the first time in four months, builder confidence rose in the month of March, with builders citing the improved economy as the source of their optimism.