How millennial buyers drive the housing market

by Lauren Brocato

As millennials begin to enter the housing market, they are becoming the driving force. MetroStudy partnered with Zillow to discover and analyze trends in the housing market among the millennial generation, those age 18 to 37, in their 2017 Consumer Housing Trend Report.

A significant aspect of the homebuying process today is the role of technology. Millennials saw the birth of the computer evolve into the web which then turned into technology that transformed the homebuying market. To no surprise, the study revealed that the use of online resources in the home market decreases as buyers get older. Millennials were found to use online resources the most, as 88 percent of homeowners said that they do. Similarly, 77 percent of millennials, the most out of any generation, use mobile resources during their search for a home.

Out of any age group, millennials want most to be the first ones to live in their home. Therefore, they account for more than one-third (36 percent) of new construction buyers. Around 32 percent of millennials seek new construction homes in the $200,000 to $300,000 range, while another 24 percent of them are in search of a new home within the $300,000 to $400,000 range. They were also found to demand the least specifics regarding square footage or number of bedrooms. 

Working with millennials

Maybe the strong role of technology in the homebuying process is to thank for the fact that the millennial generation was found to spend the least amount of time searching for a house before purchase. To millennials, mobile communication is an integral part of life. The widespread use of technology during the homebuying process goes hand in hand with the fact that millennials prefer to communicate over the phone compared to older generations. Approximately 37 percent of millennials feel more comfortable communicating over the phone during the process rather than meeting in person, in comparison to the 23 percent of baby boomers who wish to do the same.

The needs of buyers have evolved over generations. While the priorities among older generations range from family friendly communities to spacious locations, millennials approach with more different priorities in mind. The study indicates that millennial buyers seek homes that are close to public transit and work as well as flexibility, from floor plans to finance. 

The study also found that home sales with millennial buyers go best when both spouses are included in all discussions the whole family is a key focus, not just the parents. An ideal setting for entry level urban buyers are eco-friendly and family-oriented design center process, according to the report. When marketing to older millennials who have children, positive customer reviews and direct posts to your website are key. These buyers work well with deals involving offers and promotions, especially when the offers are marked with a deadline. Agents selling to families with children can also benefit from highlighting local family-friendly amenities like parks, pools and trails, as noted in the report.