With 2020 on the horizon, all eyes are on millennials, who in their twenties to late thirties, currently make up the largest share of potential home buyers in the U.S.
Expected to outnumber baby boomers in 2020, millennial buyers have already demonstrated their differences from that generation, especially when it comes to what they want in a home. In fact, industry experts predict their preferences and activities will move the U.S. housing market into new directions, ushering in their own era of home design and home buying trends.
As millennial homebuyers continue to flood the market, a new report from Zillow predicted a few trends for agents to watch out for:
- Smaller home sizes. Goodbye great big boomer home, hello smaller and sleeker millennial abode. While boomers may have seen their McMansions are status symbols, millennials want something more modern and more manageable. According to Zillow’s report, the average American home has already shrunk more than 80 square feet since 2015, a reflection of both millennial taste, budget and location preferences. As boomers struggle to unload their suburban mansions, millennials are instead opting for a more urban lifestyle, which means less land and square footage. Zillow predicted boomer homes will increasingly become a relic of the past as the median square footage of newly built, single-family homes will fall for the fourth time in five years.
- A return to color. Say farewell to the neutral color palettes of the past and say hello to bold prints and hues. Pantone named ‘Classic Blue’ as its color of the year, so expect to see it, alongside deep purples and pinks in this year’s design trends. Textures such as rich woods will be hot, as will metallics, wallpapers, and playful, unexpected touches, a welcome relief after a decade of spare Scandinavian design.
- An increase in home sales, a decrease in inventory. As the millennial generation enters peak homebuying age, sales numbers are expected to increase. But at the same time, inventory is expected to stay low, the result of high demand from buyers who snatch up homes as soon as they hit the market. “Consumers will continue to absorb available inventory and the market will remain competitive,” said Zillow Director of Research Skylar Olsen. Still, she noted that this could result in a healthier market overall. “Yes, we expect a slower market than we’ve become accustomed to the last few years, but don’t mistake this for a buyer-friendly environment – consumers will continue to absorb available inventory and the market will remain competitive.”