Over the years, a trend has formed. Article upon article, stating that it has the answer, “What Millennials Want.” Unfortunately, most of these articles are wrong. The truth is, many of the people writing these articles hail from another generation who seek to understand Millennials with little or no success. This is because much of the consumer data gathered on Millennials was misleading. Millennials, more than any other generation, are saddled with debt.
Born between 1975 and 1995, Millennials currently comprise about one-third of the total population in the United States. Trends that have weakened the Millennial buying power include increased student loan debt, a week job market, and delays in marriage. However, despite their caution, millennials are buying and what they want may surprise you.
Millennials are turning out in the real estate market and buying in unprecedented numbers. The strange new brand of home buyer is often buying before marriage, looking at real estate as an investment, and looking for short-term ownership opportunities.
Millennials Want To Buy
A survey by Fannie Mae in 2014 found that 57% Millennial renters wanted to rent, but that financial reasons such as credit, income, and down payment costs prevented the, from doing so. Within the same survey, 49% of Millennials said their next move would be home ownership. Two years later, and we are seeing many of these buyers enter the market with better credit, more savings, and an enthusiasm for real estate.
What Millennials Want
Millennials are the biggest group buying homes right now. In fact, 32% of home buyers are Millennial buyers with a median age of 29. A staggering 68% of homebuyers under the age of 34 are buying their homes for the first time. This large group of first time home buyers is looking for homes in great neighborhoods, with access to good schools, and easy transportation routes.
The most important factors for Millennial home buyers when choosing a home are:
- Quality of neighborhood
- Convenience to job
- Overall affordability
- Convenience to family and friends
- Quality of schools
Most of the young homebuyers surveyed (84 % of buyers under 33) consider buying a home to be a good investment. These savvy homebuyers are entering the market cautiously with a pragmatic attitude towards buying. Many seek fixer uppers, others seek homes that are projected to increase in value. Either way, Millennials understand that real estate is a fantastic investment in their future.
By far, the largest number of Millennial buyers (50% ) are buying their homes in subdivisions and suburbs. The internet savvy, well-educated Millennials often begin their home search online and more than 75% of these buyers visited a home after finding it on the internet. The Millennial approach to home buying is creating waves in the real estate market. More than ever, Realtors looking to appeal to buyers need to develop well-thought-out internet marketing strategies. In order to keep up with the new generation, real estate professionals will need to think ahead and strategize with future technologies in mind.