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Avocado toast and white picket fences: What millennial homebuyers have in common with their parents

by Lydia Bhattacharya

Avocado toast and white picket fences: What millennial homebuyers have in common with their parents

A recent survey conducted by Coldwell Banker showed that, despite cultural clashes that tend to pop up between millennials and their parents, Gen Y’s homebuying practices are actually quite similar to those of their parents.

When asked what they value more, the location of their home or the size, 79% of baby boomers and Gen Xers said that they put more stock in the location, which is nearly identical to the 81% of millennials who felt the same way.

In a similar vein, 72% of boomers and 73% of both Gen Xers and millennials reported that living close to their family was an important factor in the homebuying process. Released just last week, NAR’s 2020 Generational Trends report offered similar takeaways highlighting how millennials prioritize proximity to family and friends over home size, and how that outlook was similar to that of the silent generation. 

One area where older and younger generations diverged was in property condition. Across all generations, 80% of Americans said that, if they were purchasing a home, they would prefer it to be move-in ready. If having a move-in ready home was a deal breaker for buyers, 70% of millennials and 71% of Gen Xers said they would be willing to trade in home size for a move-in ready home within their budget. Boomers on the other hand were less interested in buying a home that was not move-in ready, with only 63% saying they would make the trade-off.

Although there may be many millennial stereotypes, such as their willingness to shell out for avocado toast and preference for texting over other forms of communication, the study revealed that these do not always reflect reality.

Indeed, millennials value family connection and budgeting just as much as their parents. The survey found that 66% of millennials spent no money on avocado toast at restaurants in the last year, and only 15% spent more than $50 on avocado toast in 2019. Although it varied a bit by age group, speaking over the phone was favored across all generations; 64% of millennials, 66% of Gen Xers and 77% of boomers named it as their preferred method of communication.

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