As with any generation, the Millennials have their own unique likes and dislikes – ranging anywhere from music to food – and one trend which seems to be significantly different from any of their predecessors is their preference in real estate.
In 2013, Generation Y accounted for roughly one third of all home sale, a number which will only rise as time goes on. While this can be a great thing for younger agents and brokers who can relate to these new homebuyers, this transition may not be the easiest for many of the seasoned veterans working in today’s market. The truth is that the median age of realtors today is 57 years old, a substantial difference from the median age of first-time buyers which is currently 31.
1. The best things come in small packages
Keeping up with the Joneses – a race to prove cultural and socio-economic superiority through the purchase of material goods – was a common theme in the lives of many baby boomers, and as a result many of them have sought after a big home with a big price tag. While this behavior may not be a problem for some, it has caused numerous problems for Generation Y. Over 50% of Gen Y kids come from divorced homes. Why? Communication between family members and money problems are the most cited reasons, and many believe these problems stemmed directly from having a big house. As a result, the Millennials want smaller houses on smaller lots. This puts less financial strain on those with tighter budgets and also promotes more interaction between family members.
2. Diversity is key, so jump into the melting pot
Many members of Generation Y have been exposed to more culturally diverse areas, and as a result they look for similar diversity. Urban centers offer a buzz and culture which cannot be found in many suburbs – people from all over the world as well as the music, food and arts they bring with them – and the Millennials actively seek out these differences.
3. Look for a greener living
It has been reported 57% of all members of Generation Y prefer products that are environmentally friendly, and this number is expected to keep going up. Builders are responding to this trend by providing homes with energy-saving appliances, as well as insulation made from soy or other natural products, so keep these “bonuses” in mind when trying to sell a home.
4. A short walk can go a long way
One trend which has surfaced lately in the Millennial community is their interest in walkability. Many members of Generation Y would prefer to walk or ride a bike as opposed to driving to work, so keep in mind the different businesses, restaurants, bars, parks, or anything else that is in walking distance when trying to sell a home. Not only does walking or riding a bike encourage a healthier lifestyle, but it further supports the Millennials’ interest in an eco-sensitive living.
Have you noticed these changing trends in buyers today? What are your thoughts?
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