Over the past few years much has been made of the fact that millennials supposedly prefer living in urban areas and like the excitement and the culture readily available. They also want to be flexible and prefer to rent, but things begin to change as this group gets older and thinks about settling down and starting a family.
Homeownership within this age group is historically lower than in previous generations, but this may be due to high student debt levels, rising real estate prices and a more challenging job market. In 2015 millennials, who are the largest generation in American history, accounted for 35% of homes sold. This is pretty high considering the median age of this generation is 25 and the average age for a first-time buyer is 31.
With these figures in mind, the article in curbed.com points out that it would be fair to say there’s going to be a lot of millennial buyers in the future. This does mean that homebuilders, realtors and urban planners need to be able to predict where this generation is likely to want to settle. Now it seems as if predictions that millennials will prefer to rent, or that if they buy will prefer to do so in cities may have been somewhat premature.
Apparently just a third of this age group consider themselves to be urban, while the remaining two thirds are more likely to be oriented towards living in the suburbs. Another problem is that first-time buyers don’t have too many options on where they can live. Experts point out that there are few affordable options available right in the city and as a result millennials are moving to neighborhoods close by and are purchasing the oldest homes. Additionally, suburban towns and cities may not be sufficiently prepared to meet the needs of this generation.
Currently, suburban municipalities have not been as actively involved in attracting millennial buyers as they should have been. Corporations located in the suburbs may increasingly find that they cannot attract the kind of talent they require. Consequently, it’s necessary to think about ways to attract the next generation of workers to the suburbs and to make sure they have everything they need so they want to stay there. Several surveys of young adults have predicted millennials moving to the suburbs and the percentage of this group who expect to and who want to own their own home is comparable to previous generations.