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Millennials, or those in their late twenties and thirties, are leading the surge of home buying as homeownership is currently 2-4 times higher among this age group than any other. Attributed to successfully paying off student loan debt and gaining steady employment, it’s time to expect a disruption in the housing market as the generation enters the buying stage in greater numbers.
What Modern Home Buyers Really Want
Some of the most popular features that Millennials are searching for include:
Greater indoor and outdoor space than their current rental options
High speed internet and cell phone reception
Close proximity to professional and recreational centers
A home office
Outdoor amenities, such as pools and gardens
Young buyers are also contributing to a shift towards multigenerational homes. Many Millenials have expressed the desire to live near their families, especially as the pandemic has brought different generations under the same roof. As a result, bedrooms and a sizable living space on the first level are an important feature for buyers with aging parents.
Pets are also a notable influence in purchasing decisions. Pets can influence where and when people buy, as well as what they’re looking for. Many pet owners have cited wanting a sizable outdoor space- preferably with a fence, for their animals to enjoy.
How COVID-19 Has Impacted Buying Habits
Both buyer and seller habits have seen some major changes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to more time spent at home, priorities and wish lists are changing. As remote work has shifted to the front of Millenial’s minds, home offices are in high demand and they are less worried about their commute. This freedom has encouraged some buyers to look beyond traditional urban and suburban options.
Buyers are also more eager to purchase a home in light of the pandemic. In 2019, buyers were looking at an average of nine homes before deciding to purchase. COVID-19 has dropped that number to an average of three to four homes before a contract is signed. As a result, homes are selling in an average of just 24 days.
Other Notable Differences
Millennials are reshaping relationship dynamics when it comes to homeownership. Record numbers of single individuals, unmarried couples, and roommates pooling together their income to purchase a home are being seen among the generation.
More than anything, we are seeing two types of buyers: those who are looking to permanently move away from the city and those that are interested in a second home in a more rural area. Millennials are breathing new life into developments both near and far from urban centers as suburban towns become more culturally dynamic than ever before.
Millennials are also more likely to skip the old reliable ‘starter home’ in favor of larger, more expensive properties. A potential result of waiting longer to enter the housing market, one third of the first homes purchased by Millennials were valued at $300,000 or more.
There’s no doubt that this generation has already made a lasting impression on the housing market. More changes may be on the way as more Millennials continue to enter into the home buying scene, but the market is sure to adapt and change as it always has.