There has been an assumption over the past few years that Millennials would not be a generation interested in home buying any time in the near future. Many felt that their priorities focused on attaining higher educations, paying down student loan debt, delaying marriage and children and the desire to be free of the burdens of maintenance associated with home ownership.
Despite these challenges the stats for 2018 are now showing a different trend. Millennials under the age of 35 are now starting to enter the housing market in stronger numbers. Last quarter the home-ownership rate among this age group increased by 2 percentage points to 36%. The outlook for 2018 and 2019 shows that this trend will continue to be strong.
Where are Millennials Buying?
Statistics show that Millennials are buying in both large and small city locations. The suburbs are the first choice for this group of first time buyers. They want to be close to their work and have options nearby for activities. 65% chose the location of their home based on its proximity to their work and good road systems. Access to big city amenities play a role here too. A commute to an urban area for entertainment and services is a big draw.
Millennials are better informed about their housing options than the generations that preceded them. They consider home ownership to be an important part of the natural process for their lives and they want to research the options available and evaluate the pros and cons of locations. The internet is the driving force in helping with their search for a home. Armed with knowledge from their research, Millennials want a realtor involved to help guide them through the process once they have narrowed down their preferences.
What kind of Features are Millennials Looking for in a Home?
This group of individuals have challenges when it comes to accumulating money for a down payment on a house. They have been strapped for many years after college with the burden of paying down debt and dealing with years of slow growth in wages. More than 65% see their first home option as a smaller version of their dream home. They are not so interested in home improvement projects due to the cost of these projects and the need for expert skills to get the work done. Instead millennials opt for houses that have updated kitchens and bathrooms, green features, open floor plans, good cell phone and internet service and space for a home office. The average Millennial will keep their first home for approximately 6 years.
A Place for Man’s Best Friend
Many Millennials have their pup in mind when buying a house. They have become disillusioned with keeping their dog cooped up in an apartment all day while they work. They are looking for a home with a yard that their dog will be comfortable in and for locations that are close to pet related amenities like dog parks, walking trails and a place to wash their dog. They are tired of apartments that stack on pet fees and have many rules regarding pet ownership. A house is the ideal solution for Millennials with a dog.
Feeling Engaged in a Community
Owning a home in a community is a major way that Millennials can begin to feel more civically minded. This group of individuals puts social issues and projects at the top of their minds. The stakes are raised about these issues when their value is tied to the neighborhood or community in which they live. Millennials are social and activism is a way that they can be connected to other like-minded people and helps them feel like they are making a difference. Home builders can help spur this ideal along by showing this home buying group the social issues that are supported in the community.
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