Gen Y Has Spoken: Amenities > Square Footage

by Stephanie Sims


Usually condos this spacious come at a price. Gen Y says they’d rather have nice amenities instead of the extra space.

You’ve read all about Gen Y already: they plan to eventually buy, are reshaping the multifamily market and have positive feelings toward the housing market, in general. But a new study found data that’s valuable to any agent with Gen Y clients – what they value in a new home.




Lusk Center for Real Estate – Gen Yers Value Amenities

A study from the university of Southern California’s Lusk Center for Real Estate told HousingWire that Gen Y buyers value a home or building’s amenities over how big their home is.

Once Gen Yers move out of their parents’ homes and become first-time homebuyers, besides their No. 1 requirement — affordability —  on-site amenities and the neighborhood, meaning nearby retail and restaurants, follow. A few theories behind why square-footage isn’t as important: more spacious condos aren’t usually affordable for first-time homebuyers, including mortgage costs and a down payment, and easy transit and walkability is important for this generation.

“As a developer doing my strategies, I’ve got to really reevaluate the location,” said Stan Ross, chairman of the board at Lusk Center for Real Estate.

Going along with that walkability importance is having everything Gen Yers could possibly need nearby – restaurants, grocery stores, shops and retail stores, convenience stores, churches, gyms, etc. In addition, condo buildings are upping the ante with their own amenities, and many now include gyms, indoor/outdoor pools, roof decks or sun decks, grilling areas, media/entertainment rooms and even movie theaters.

Usually, condos in an urban area with everything nearby as well as to live in a building with great amenities, means square footage will have to be sacrificed.

“Clearly Gen-Y is having a huge impact on the real estate community,” Ross said. “The key thing here is that (developers are) using it in an analytical way to build their plans as to where and what they develop.”

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  • Nathan Bernhardt says:

    I believe this is right. As urban and suburban society become more aware of the “cost benefit loss” through overweighting size vs. amenities, including design, the more society will demand smaller more useful housing. We are learning to measure better, and becoming more efficient in the process. It will become more about the quality of the space. Look at the price of Apple Computers, or Porsches, they aren’t “bigger”, just smarter.

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