What Millennial Home Buyers Want

Filed in Design, Education, IBS, Trends by on January 22, 2018 19 Comments

keysIt’s all about location, location, location – with a dash or two of compromise – as millennials, the nation’s largest demographic group at 90 million strong, is poised to dominate the home buying market.

Two market researchers – who happen to be millennials themselves – offered insight into their generation in Two Millennials Tell All, an education session offered Jan. 10 during the NAHB International Builders’ Show in Orlando.

While generalities about this group may ring true: This generation prefers experiences over things and likes to “collect moments” rather than sets of good china place settings, there’s actually much more diversity than many people realize, said Ali Wolf, manager of housing economics for California-based Meyers Research LLC.

For one thing, 43% of millennials aren’t white, don’t solidly identify as either “traditionals” or “trailblazers” and, because they now range in age from 17 to 37, have incomes across the economic spectrum.

And as NAHB Economics own research has indicated, a surprising majority of millennials aren’t necessarily interested in urban spaces, but still want a single-family home with a yard. The challenge for home builders is to create a product that this generation wants but that can still afford as first-time buyers, the presenters said. In fact, 21 percent of millennials surveyed said they haven’t bought a home yet because they can’t afford one, period.

One solution: Understand that millennials are willing to compromise. They’ll sacrifice some space in exchange for more luxurious finishes, like quartz countertops. Good design is important to this generation.

Flexible spaces are important as well. Make sure that the dining area is large enough for a large gathering of friends and family for Thanksgiving and other special dinners, but easily converted into a workspace or studio for the rest of the year.

Three/two still rules. A home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms is the most preferred, and 1,000 square feet is the minimum. That third bedroom can be a loft area or study nook if space is at a premium, however.

Attendees with a paid full registration to IBS also get a complimentary 1-year subscription to IBS Education on Demand and can download recording and handouts to Two Millennials Tell All: Deconstructing Today’s First-Time Buyers & Their Design Preferences and other sessions. Visit BuildersShow.com/ondemand to learn more.



Comments (19)

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  1. Mike Thomalla says:

    Is there any way to get information on this presentaion?

  2. An insight into the way Millennials see themselves in the housing market is imperative to the success of the real estate industry in the coming years. Modification in the industry to meet those needs will make the difference in creating a successful path.

  3. Lynne Hall says:

    This is a wide age group and I am wondering what price range most Millennials can afford. We are builders and in real estate in East Texas.

  4. Ashley says:

    Hi Lynn, feel free to reach out to Ali Wolf who was one of the panelists on this talk. She is our Director of Housing Economics: awolf@meyersresearchllc.com

  5. I am wondering what the thoughts of bath tubs are for them?

    • M Krisher says:

      I’d like to know this, too. I hate bathtubs. Waste of space in my opinion. I use mine for a laundry hamper. 😉

    • Brandon says:

      I’m on elder side of millenials at 34 but one thing to consider is if there are children involved or planned in the near future need to have a tub for them. Once we have our basement finished (full-sized walk-in shower down there) we will have 3 baths and only 1 tub. We had a tub originally planned in our master but after thinking about it a little more we decided against it.

  6. John says:

    Cassie Cherry was the second panelist. She is the Director of Marketing at Danielian Associates and can be reached at ccherry@danielian.com

  7. James says:

    Very insightful. More details on the price range millennial prefer would also be useful.

    • NAHB Now says:

      I’m sure it’s all over the map, James, but millennials tend to be first-time or move-up buyers, so the prices in your market for those two general categories would be most likely.

  8. Interesting article. Millenials live under the era where there is a significant change in general interests and lifestyle. Hence, home specifications have evolved.

  9. Iris Black says:

    Whether an urban space or a single family home with an yard, millenialls are the ones who rely on technology. The generation use smartphones to search for houses and even prefer to sign deals online. Many companies are finding ways to take these people for virtual tours inside houses, in case they stay far from places where they intend to buy houses.

  10. Vivian Black says:

    A friend of mine and I were recently discussing how different the market for house buying/selling looks compared to what it looked like twenty years ago. I found it interesting that you mentioned the way millennials are willing to compromise space for nicer finishes like quartz countertops. Thank you for helping me to better understand why many of the differences in real estate exist today.

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