The housing market has historically had its ebbs and flows, and we’ll have to wait and see what the market will look like over the next few years. But one thing is for sure: the housing industry is changing as millennials come of age.
Realtor.com reports that 52% of all the homes purchased in 2017 were from first-time buyers. And of all those first-time buyers, approximately 78% of them were between the ages of 25 and 34 years old.
“This represents an ‘Oh, shift’ moment in housing,” said Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for Realtor.com. “With so many first-time buyers in the market, competition will be even fiercer next year for affordable starter homes in the suburbs. Those looking to buy may want to consider a winter home purchase in order to avoid bidding wars and higher prices spurred by a potential increase in millennial buyers.”
Because the age of the average homebuyer is moving closer to the millennial age bracket, sellers are starting to adapt their properties accordingly. Traditionally, bathroom and kitchen remodeling have been some of the most common projects for homeowners looking to boost resale value.
According to a 2016 HOUZZ Kitchen Trends Study, roughly 87% of all homeowners consulted a professional during their kitchen renovation project. Also, the National Association of Realtors reports that 54% of homebuyers were actually willing to pay more for a home that came with hardwood floors.
But the younger the homebuyer, the more interested they are in newer property trends such as solar powered homes, smart appliances, and minimalistic designs.
“They’re young professionals who prefer a turnkey home that needs little or no work,” said Margie Gundersheim, a Massachusetts realtor. “[Or they’re] creative/romantic buyers who want to invest sweat equity and money over time, and put their personal stamp on the property and add value for the future.”
However, according to Bankrate, these younger homebuyers have a lot of the same “must-have” features on their home buying list.
Perhaps the main thing millennial buyers want are smart homes. Inman states that 81% of homebuyers are now more likely to purchase a home that’s equipped with smart-home tech and 35% associate smart tech with a home that is ready to be lived in.
In addition to smart appliances and home automation, younger buyers are also eager to move to locations with a lot of activity options and a vibrant nightlife. Unlike previous generations of homebuyers, top school districts and safe suburban locales aren’t a top priority.
“Most millennial renters want to be as close as possible to many things, which is why they prefer urban, apartment-style living,” said property managers in Houston. “In most cases, they’ll pay more than standard market value, and give up other amenities, if it means landing a central location.”
Clearly the way homes are being purchased is drastically changing. Of all homebuyers searching for a home today, 88% used the Internet for their search. Among millennials, that number rises to 94%.
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