Millennials have been traditionally viewed as uninterested or unable to buy a home. However, Americans ranging from their mid-20s to their late-30s accounted for half of all new home loans last year, according to Realtor.com.
Understanding the Millennial Housing Timeline
Despite being saddled with large student loans and a high unemployment rate, many Millennials are determined to become homeowners- on their own time. According to the U.S. Census, over 4 million Millennials will turn 29 or 30 each year for the next several years, which is the average age for Millennials to enter the housing market. This is partly fueled by the generation’s trend to get married and have kids later on as well. As more time spent at home is paired with the need for space for growing families, the demand for a larger residency is exaggerated by ultralow interest rates.
However, it’s important to note that many Millennials still need assistance when it comes to purchasing their first home. According to the National Association of Realtors, more than one in five Millennial homebuyers used a gift from family for their down payment in 2019. First American Financial Corp has also speculated that Millennials could be responsible for at least 15 million home sales within the next ten years.
A Generational Shift in Home Buying
The economic recovery over the past decade has led to a surge of home buying for Millennials. And as the generation enters the market in large numbers, they’re approaching their first real estate purchases in a different way than previous generations.
Technology plays a vital role in Millennial’s decision-making within the housing market. The generation has fully taken advantage of using their mobile devices to search for homes, view properties, and communicate with real estate agents. According to the National Realtor Association, 99% of Millennials search online for general housing information. Their familiarity with popular housing apps has allowed for their search to continue, even under the current circumstances that have mandated social distancing and virtual housing tours.
Real estate agents have learned to adapt to the shift towards text and technology. According to the NAR, 94% of agents are comfortable communicating via email and 90% communicate via text as well. The technology trend has also influenced how agents are showing homes, with Millennials sparking the demand for videos and livestreams of properties to be included with traditional photos as well.