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13 Millennial Housing Trends to Watch For When Selling Your Home

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13 Millennial Housing Trends to Watch For When Selling Your Home


According to the Pew Research Center, millennials have become the largest generation in America. Overtaking the Baby Boomers (ages 55 to 73), millennials make up the generation that was born between 1981 and 1996.

Now that millennials are in their 20s and 30s, they are increasingly becoming homeowners. That being said, a number of particular societal and generational differences has led to them having a different relationship to the housing market than previous generations.

What millennial housing trends should you look out for when you are selling your home?

Let us take a look at thirteen of them!

1. They Need and Want Affordability

Let us face it: millennials are facing a rough combination of factors when it comes to their financial situation. Not only have the cost of homes and rents increased remarkably in recent years, but they are also left in the wave of the Great Recession and staggering student loan debt.

The average net worth of American millennials is less than $8,000, and they make, on average, a little over $35,000 a year. 46% of millennials have student loans, the median debt of which is $27,000.

All that being said, many millennial home buyers are looking for affordable options if they are able to make money at all. It is common for this generation to rent for a long time or even move back in with their parents in order to save some money.

In 2015, roughly one-third of young adults between the ages of 24 and 34 were living in their family homes with their parents.

For all of these reasons, it makes sense that one of the millennial home buying trends is to look for affordability. They are juggling some extreme financial circumstances, and spending more for a little extra luxury is not always an option.

2. They Do Their Research

These days, people have access to a tremendous amount of information in a way that was never possible in the past. Millennials have laptops and smartphones where they can do all of their own research before they make any financial commitments.

This means that Millennials will do their research before they make pretty much any kind of financial decision. Whether it is where to get the best bang for your buck for a cheeseburger in town or which company they should hire, it is in the nature of millennials to be researchers.

3. Historic Details Appeal to Them

Even though millennials tend to want up-to-date tech and appliances in their home, that does not mean they do not have a thing for the charm and style of older homes.

Three of the hottest millennial housing trends are homes that have pre-war details, are mid-century modern, or built-in a Mediterranean style.

4. Millennials Are Willing to Move

It has become increasingly common for millennials to relocate for secure jobs, their desired quality of life, and safe neighborhoods. Millennials might be less tethered to their hometown and community than any generation before them.

Increasingly, cities that have a low cost of living and low unemployment rates are attracting millennials. Cities like Pittsburgh, PA and Des Moines, IA have been some of the most popular cities for millennials in recent years.

5. They Expect the Home Buying Process to Be Digital

When millennials start looking for a home to buy, they most likely are not looking for ads in the paper or driving around their desired neighborhood searching for "for sale" signs. Instead, they are sitting down at their computers.

According to the National Association of Realtors, an astounding 99% of this generation use the internet to find their general-purpose info about buying a home and the market.

They are also 100% more likely to use their smartphones and mobile devices as a part of their housing search compared to baby boomers.

6. Millennials Care About Amenities

More and more millennials are transitioning from urban life to suburban life. As they do so, they do not want to give up all of the perks of living in a city. This means that they still want to live in places with lively downtowns, walkable neighborhoods, and a city in relatively close proximity.

Millennials scratch this itch by being attracted to buildings and communities that have activities and amenities as a part of the deal. Things like smart home features, outdoor dining options, communal workspaces, fitness rooms, and rooftop lounges are super appealing to this generation.

7. They Will Shop For a Long Time For the Right Home

Millennials want to live in a home that is in a location that fits their lifestyle but that also has modern home technology. Seemingly particular about their investments, they will take the time to make the right choice.

That being said, this trend might be shifting a bit. Because of the insane seller's market that has affected a lot of the country in the last year, millennials might be accepting that they can be quite as picky when it comes to which home they buy. With hot markets seeing houses fly off the market as soon as the listing goes up, many buyers have been discouraged by the process.

8. They Face Housing Prices That Are 39% Higher Than Their Parents Generation

Millennials' parents were most likely looking for a home around the 1980s. Since then, housing prices have increased by 39%.

If you look further back on the timeline, the appreciation of real estate prices is even more astounding. Home prices now are more than 80% higher than they were in the 1960s.

Sometimes it can be hard to zoom out and understand these larger cultural trends. What does it mean that home prices are so much higher now than they used to be?

There are countless potential societal consequences of this reality. That being said, an obvious one is that it is way more difficult for young people to purchase their first home and get established as homeowners than it was in the past.

9. They Are Willing to Commute

While the coronavirus and the work from home revolution have changed everything in recent times, up until the COVID-19 pandemic millennials had proven that they are willing to commute.

In order to find affordable homes while keeping a job in a city, many millennials are dealing with a commute of more than an hour each way. That means two or more hours each weekday getting back and forth between the office.

10. Millennial Home Buyers Are Often Looking For Smaller Properties

In some places, the value of the mini-mansions that boomers loved are dropping because millennials are not interested in them. Boomers who were hoping to downsize, in some locations, have found that their home is not as valuable to the younger generation as it was to them.

This trend might be on the way out, though, with the pandemic leading buyers to want more space and more security.

11. But Some Millennial Buyers Are Thinking Big

That being said, in other locations millennials are doing just the opposite. Some members of this generation are skipping the starter home step and going straight for more expensive, bigger homes in nice neighborhoods.

In 2020, roughly 45% of homebuyers between the ages of 30 and 39 bought a house for $300,000 or more. This is likely encouraged by people's desire to have homes with more space during the COVID-19 pandemic and while working from home.

12. They Communicate With Real Estate Agents Differently

Millennials tend to want to text rather than talk on the phone when it comes to communicating with real estate agents. They tend to only call if a concern is pressing or urgent.

13. A Quarter of Millennial Home Buying Happens Before They Get Married

Millennials are shifting the traditional path of getting married, buying a house, having kids. In fact, roughly a quarter of millennials that buy houses with their significant other do so before they tie the knot.

Millennial Housing Trends: Understanding This Generation Can Help You Market Your Home

Understanding millennial housing trends has to do with understanding the unique set of circumstances this generation has faced. A number of convening factors means that millennials are facing a steeper mountain to climb when it comes to homeownership.

With the housing crash in 2008, astounding amounts of student debt, and the fact that home and rent prices have outpaced wages and inflation, millennial homebuyers have to work hard to make their homeownership dreams come true.

If you are looking to sell your home, there is a good chance some millennials will be considering buying it. Understanding this generation and what they are looking for can help you make your property more appealing to this demographic.

Are you looking to sell your home and are wondering how much it's worth? Take a look at our true market value tool here!