Millenial home buyers as a group have some different priorities from previous generations. Although they have not been buying many new homes yet, by 2018 there should be 8.3 million new households forming. By 2020, they will comprise 36 percent of adult Americans and they are concerned about the environment.
Fifty-six percent of 18- to 35-year-olds ranked home technology capability above curb appeal in a survey done by Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate (BH-GRE). Eighty-four percent believe it is essential to a home. Jeremy Burbank, The Demand Institute vice-president, says Gen Y is most concerned about environmental impacts of a home.
Millennials have found it tough to save money with the economy they face of high unemployment and outrageous rents, in addition to the growing student debt. Many are living with parents or some other adults for affordability reasons. Census data shows the age group as more educated than those of thirty years ago and more educated people tend to marry later in life.
The Demand Institute’s Millennials and Their Homes report says thirty-four percent of the now single people in the age group plan to marry within five years and nineteen percent of the childless ones plan to have children within the next five years. As they start to look for their new homes, cost is still going to be the major factor.
Although millennials may want upgrades with the environment and technology in mind, most will not be able to afford them. Builders and real estate agents must help them with products that they most want that are affordable.
In the BH-GRE survey, 57 percent of the respondents listed an energy-efficient washer and dryer in their most wanted home technology features, 44 percent wanted a smart thermostat, and 48 percent would like a home security system. The Demand Institute reports energy usage reducers as additions the age group seeks. It should be noted that the group, more than any other age group, prefers better performance to larger square footage and small homes are acceptable to them.
Another way they will help with the carbon footprint is they expect their homes to be a place where they do work, not just return to it after work. Twenty percent say they now use their dining room as a home office. They will work from home, sharing child rearing depending on whose work requires them to be away from the home, thereby using less energy in getting to a work place.
New homes will have the advantage over existing homes because they are generally more energy efficient even without more expensive green upgrades. Those utility bill savings and home warranties on homes like Energy-Star certified construction can help in qualifying for home loans. A Demand Institute survey notes that 48 percent of those Generation Y home buyers will be seeking their homes in the suburbs.