The other day I caught myself doing a very millennial thing: I needed new winter boots, and, not surprisingly, I quickly spiraled down an obsessive rabbit hole of internet research. Before I knew it, I had roughly fifty tabs open, two hours had passed, and I still hadn’t purchased any boots.
True to my millennial nature, I am extremely careful with my money, and I don’t like to own a lot of stuff. Consequently, it’s important to me that my purchases last a long time. This millennial attitude, along with Americans’ contemporary reliance on technology, is changing many things, including the housing industry. Here’s more information about recent trends in buying homes.
1. Millennials have started to buy homes.
You might have noticed a pattern in headlines over the past few years: “Why Millennials Aren’t Buying Diamonds,” “Why Millennials Aren’t Buying Homes,” or, my personal favorite, “Why Millennials Are Addicted to Avocado Toast” (spoiler: because it’s delicious!).
One of the main reasons millennials have been slower to buy homes than previous generations is that life is more expensive than it used to be. College tuition costs are rising more quickly than financial aid, and 83% of millennials say that student debt is the reason they aren’t buying homes sooner.
Still, even though they are taking their time, millennials are now the largest group of home buyers, comprising 34% of the market. Additionally, because millennials often have less money to spend and more student debt than previous generations, they want things to be just right and take a long time searching for a home. Recent surveys report that at the top of millennials’ home buying checklists are updated kitchens and bathrooms, energy efficient features like solar panels, a home office, an open floor plan, a good location, and–of course!–good internet and phone service.
Additionally, millennials are moving more frequently. Gone are the days when individuals purchased a home and then lived in it for 30 years. Today, only 11% of millennials consider a home to be permanent; many are buying homes and selling them for a profit a few years later.
2. Most housing searches are online.
I admit I am addicted to the convenience of the internet–I love being able to easily get in touch with long-distance friends or google questions like “is oscar isaac single” or “how to tell if avocado is bad.” And technology is also changing the housing market. These days, most real estate searches begin online, with many buyers utilizing apps to instantly look up housing information. According to recent data, 99% of millennial home buyers and 95% of all home buyers engaged in online searches when looking for a home. To download the Keller Williams home search app click HERE.
3. The role of real estate agents is changing.
Though many home buyers research properties online on their own, real estate agents are more important than ever: 87% of buyers purchased their home through a real estate agent, which is a significant increase from 69% of buyers in 2001. While buyers are better informed, they still rely on agents to help them translate the at-times complicated buying process. Millennials and other buyers understand that, even with the convenience of technology, real estate agents still provide that indispensable personal element to the home buying process.