The 2008 housing crisis struck around the same time that many millennials were graduating high school, college, or first dipping their toes into the workforce. This calamity in the real estate market, and the economic downturn that ensued, discouraged millennials from investing in real estate. In many cases, the economy stifled their ability to save, making home ownership more of a pipe dream for many young Americans. However, as the economy recovered and some of the lost confidence of young buyers returned, millennials came back to the market to shake things up.
Generally speaking, millennials have different interests and values than Gen X and Baby Boomers. These differences have forced the market to adapt and usher in a new era in home buying and real estate marketing. Here are just a few ways that the millennial generation has helped shape the real estate market going forward.
If there is one stereotype of millennials that is almost universally true, it is that they love technology. If there is a new development in mobile tech or software, you can be sure that millennials will want a piece of the pie. The market has picked up on this, and many agencies and sellers are equipping their houses with the newest “smart home” software to allow for more advanced security, leisure, and even automated housework.
No More Starter Homes
While it would be unfair and inaccurate to say that millennials are impatient, it is generally true that they are wary of an economy that has fluctuated throughout most of their lives. As a result, many millennials choose to forego starter homes entirely. After all, if you aren’t sure that the economy will improve, why invest in a temporary option? Instead, these young buyers go straight for finished homes at the higher end of the price scale. According to Realtor Magazine, about 1/3rd of millennial homebuyers spent more than $300,000 on their first house.
Trust in Professionals
While putting trust in a realtor is nothing new, millennials rely heavily on professional expertise when navigating the real estate market. This newfound dependence on industry professionals is the result of the complexity of purchasing new homes, as well as a general consensus that millennials are unprepared for “adulting.” Though courses in civics, personal economics, and general life skills used to be commonplace in schools, they have largely disappeared, leaving millennials feeling unsure in the face of important life decisions. To ease these anxieties, millennials choose to trust in real estate professionals.
Realtors have their work cut out for them with millennials. In the past, most prospective home buyers had a general idea of what they wanted, and then made a choice of what best fit their needs among the available options in their price range. Millennials, on the other hand, are not so accommodating. Can’t find a house with a second story terrace for under $200,000? Then no sale. Millennials know what they want, and they are more than willing to wait it out until they find the perfect home.
Despite the changes that millennials have brought to the real estate market, it must be said that they are not all cut from the same cloth. There is a lot of diversity in this generation, but their shared experiences have shaped the way they look at purchasing a home. Technology has made millennials crave new gadgets and be a little bit picky for certain features; in addition, cuts in education and economic uncertainty have made them more cautious when shopping for a place to call home. But no matter the reasons, it is clear that millennials have forever changed the future of the real estate market.