Millennials have long had a reputation as the “delay” generation, slow to reach many of the milestones associated with midlife: “launching” and moving out from the parental homestead, settling into a single career track, starting a family, and purchasing a first home. The Millennial cutoff is generally set at a birth year of 1982 or later, which means that the oldest Millennials are entering their mid-thirties and enjoying increased security and prosperity in a recovering economy. They’re also starting to show interest in homeownership, and analysts are predicting that they’ll become one of the largest sectors of the housing market over the next few years.
What do Millennials want in a dream house? In this post, we’ll take a look at some of the top priorities for Millennial clients in the real estate market!
A Convenient Commute
Millennials have brought a renewed focus on “work/life balance” to their professional lives, and that same interest in protecting free time has transferred to their real estate searches. They’re particularly wary of grueling commutes that drain hours out of each weekday. They’re also increasingly likely to seek public transit solutions for commuting and leisure travel, which means that they might be especially averse to settling in a sparse exurban environment with few viable bus and commuter train options.
City Life…Or Something Like It
Millennials have been reluctant to leave urban areas because they enjoy urban amenities: varied dining options, nightlife and live music, annual festivals, trendy shopping areas. They’re open to suburban options, but only if they don’t have to leave urban excitement behind. Millennial clients have also tried to balance urban amenities with suburban space and exurban prices by trading larger metropolitan cities for their smaller Midwestern equivalents – Millennials are turning smaller cities like Milwaukee, Madison, Columbus, and Pittsburgh into professional and cultural hotspots. Recent Millennial retreat from city centers has also led to increased investment in transportation infrastructure, as well as affordable housing developments inside city limits, as administrators try to hang on to their younger populations.
Photo Credit: Genhq.com
Room to Maneuver
Millennials have grown up into a seismic shift in professional consolidation and advancement, as professionals have become more and more likely to switch jobs and even career tracks several times over the course of their lives. This trend has given workers a great deal of flexibility, but it’s also created a new set of priorities for younger professionals, who may be reluctant to leave urban areas that offer a wide range of professional opportunities. When Millennials make the move to the ‘burbs, they want to make sure they aren’t walking away from commercial and professional advantages. They’re often more likely to settle in smaller cities and independent commercial areas than to opt for the more attenuated sprawl of an exurban development.
Millennials care about the environment, and they tend to carry that sense of stewardship into their consumer habits, choosing fair-trade products, creative components, and durable craftsmanship. When it comes to homeownership, they seek out efficient design features. This focus includes sustainable construction materials, green-energy features like solar panels, and environmentally-friendly amenities like water-saving plumbing. Efficient design also includes efficient use of space, and Millennials are especially likely to want open-plan, multi-use layouts when choosing a new home.
Photo Credit: Propertycasualtyefficiency.com
Millennials will splurge on a high-end appliance or luxury piece of furniture, but they tend to be extremely value-conscious and leery of any option that would require significant cash outlays. For this reason, they’re more likely to gravitate towards finished houses than “fixer uppers.” They feel much more confident with newer fixtures and fully-maintained properties, and they’ll appreciate a seller taking the time to complete as many repairs and upgrades as possible prior to sale. They’re also less attracted to the expansive yards, delicate gardens, and manicured lawns that characterized suburban development for so many decades. Although Millennials are eager to patronize community gardens or a shared green roof space, they’re happy to have just a small balcony or terrace to themselves.
Millennials are the largest generation since the Baby Boomers, and they’re poised to transform the real estate market as they move into the next stage of their lives. Keep an eye on these trends in real estate marketing as this emerging demographic comes into its own!
Valerie is a Marketing Rep at Real Estate Experts, an agency with 20 years of experience providing premium realty service to clients in Hillsborough and surrounding areas.