Millennials are the largest home-buying generation right now, making it essential to understand what’s going on in their heads as they try to decide whether to hit the resale market or buy something new.
Born between 1980 and 2000, millennials, who once had been stereotyped as the slacker generation, are on the hunt for prime real estate in which to raise their families and live their lives.
New-home sales across the entire market typically average between 10% and 15% of total transactions, and total volume is more of a reflection of supply than demand.
For example, in Zonda’s sixth year of surveying millennials, 83% of those who had already purchased a new-build home said they would recommend it to their friends.
A Millennial Twist
Those who bought new shared the reasons why they felt it was a better option for them. The reasons aren’t all that different from those considered by previous generations, although they do take a more modern twist when you consider the challenges facing the home building market in 2022.
The simplest reason cited was the home is ready to be lived in. There’s nothing like walking into a house that nobody else has slept in and with a kitchen that doesn’t have the smell of thousands of previous meals baked into the walls.
That also goes for repairs. When buying a house on the resale market there are more factors to consider, such as the age of a furnace or the state of the windows and roof. With a new build, those concerns are put on hold until sometime in the (hopefully) distant future.
They also appreciated the ability to be involved in the design process, choosing customizations that suit their tastes rather than being left with the flowered wallpaper the previous owners slapped onto the walls in 1972.
As one respondent said: “New-home construction gives you the opportunity to select all of the finishes you want in your home. It also provides a great warranty and the most up-to-date home technology.”
A different “pride of ownership” also comes with watching a home get raised from foundation to roof. Several respondents said the process made them feel like the home was theirs in a special sort of way, although they warned the process probably isn’t for everyone.
“[A recommendation] depends on the friend,” one respondent said. “You must have patience and understanding of what you are getting into. It’s not right for everyone.”
That’s probably more true now than it was in the past. Labor shortages and supply chain disruptions have made delivery dates unpredictable. Costs are increasing by the day. The ups and downs of the process can be gut-wrenching for any family looking for stability.
But on the whole, the vast majority of millennials surveyed couldn’t resist that new house smell.
“We love our place,” one wrote. “Nice finishes and appliances. No one else has lived here. Minimal things need to be fixed or repaired.”
This is great proof that if the right product exists in the new-home market, millennials would not only buy it but also recommend it to their friends.
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