Millennials — or Generation Y — is the next generation of consumers. Not only do their values and behaviors differ from their parents, but what they look for in a home does, too.
Ashley Hanks and Casey O’Brian, both age 29, are two such homeowners. The couple just bought a condo on the Upper West Side of Manhattan and say that while their parents' generation was more concerned with family ties and staying put in large homes outside the city, these days young people are prioritizing differently.
“Our careers are most important to us and also being close to travel opportunities, being close to friends and being close to a lot of the experiences we want to have. This apartment really allowed us to continue our lifestyle,” Hanks tells Destination Home.
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McMansion? Forget it. Unmarried? Doesn’t matter. In many ways, this millennial couple fits the profile of the next generation of homebuyers that will drive the housing market in the years to come.
That’s according to the research of Sherry Chris, CEO of Better Homes & Gardens Real Estate and co-author of the new book Next Generation Real Estate.
Chris notes that we care about Gen Y when it comes to real estate because across the country there are 100 million people in this category — a third of the population. And despite the stereotype of millennials being lazy and not caring about home ownership, Chris says that over 70% of those surveyed said they'd like to buy a home in the next two to three years.
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While this demographic may delay marriage, Chris says that won’t stop them from buying. Hanks and O’Brian are an example: they aren’t married, but they still took the leap together to buy a condo.
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“It was a really great time to buy, and the financial commitment was just as big [as], if not larger than, getting married,” Hanks says.
While baby boomers wanted big homes with lots of space, Gen Y prioritizes functionality over size and lifestyle over the actual property itself. Check out the video to see what home features get top billing and which ones Millennials are more likely to skip.
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It's these differences and more that will be shaping the housing industry over the next several years as sellers, buyers and the entire industry get ready for what’s going to be “the next real estate boom,” according to Chris.