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7 Ways Millennials Are Changing the Housing Market

First and foremost, I need to let you know that I LOVE millennials (the generation born between 1982-2000). They aren’t my generation (I’m the last of the baby boomers) and thank goodness because what got us here, isn’t going to get us there. According to the census bureau, Millennials have overtaken baby boomers as the largest generation in US History. They are going to need to do things differently than we and our parents did and by the looks of it, they are. We can see this in their buying decisions and life choices.

What do millennials want when it comes to purchasing a home and when do they want it?

There is talk about how millennials aren’t moving out of their parent’s homes, and aren’t buying homes.  Well, that is just not the case from the stats I’ve seen.  According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR) in the recently released “2016 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers,” 56% of all first-time home buyers were millennials.

Millennials are purchasing homes but they do it differently.

What are the ways Millennials are changing home buying?

  1. They are waiting longer to purchase a home. The median age is 31, whereas the median age when I purchased my first property in the 1980’s was 24. In some ways, this makes a lot of sense. Just look at history, as life expectancy gets longer, stages of life start later and go on longer.
  2. A larger number are buying homes as single individuals. In the late 1980s, the percentage of first time home buyers that were single was 38%, it is now 60%. That is a huge demographic shift.
  3. They still appreciate the help of a professional broker or agent, but instead of the broker finding the house – the broker is used to help validate the choice and navigate the legal aspects of the purchase. They think of themselves as very savvy researchers.
  4. They are doers. But not around the house. They don’t want something that will take a lot of maintenance. They don’t plan on giving up their hobbies and travel plans to buy a house, so the property needs to take minimal time and care.
  5. They are more financially conservative. Many saw their parents go through challenging times during the recession and many have student loan debt to deal with. This means they are sticking to their budgets, saving for bigger down payments and reserves. They are not willing to get the biggest loan they can possibly afford.
  6. Many millennials consider themselves minimalist (I hear this from my son all the time). They tend to like post-modern, contemporary and modern styles. They also like things open and very casual.
  7. We said that millennials are doers; this also leads them to want to be more in the center of things. They are willing to give up space for a more urban environment.

There is no denying that millennials are buying, but they view it differently. They view it as a place to live for now, not a status symbol or their home for the next 30 years. They are also aware that as they age and their families grow, their taste will have to evolve. Things are changing, but I don’t think we need to shut down the suburbs just yet. Tweet: I don’t think we need to shut down the suburbs just yet. https://ctt.ec/65x3J+


About the Author
Diana Hill

With over 30 years of experience, Diana brings a wealth of real estate knowledge and expertise with her timely and insightful articles, videos and webinars.

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