For years, the narrative on mainstream media regarding millennials is that they are a lazy and careless generation that will forever be home renters. Well, as the millennials aged, that narrative began to change. Now, as millennials enter their 30s, they are suddenly deciding that it is time to buy a house and join the world of homeowners. However, what are their motives? Millennials exhibit a few characteristics that are leaving real estate agents very curious.
Millennials Are the Most Diverse Generation
Based on the statistics of sexual orientation, race, and primary spoken language, millennial homebuyer group is one of the most diverse homebuyer groups. In the sexual orientation category, 5% of younger millennials (ages 28 and younger) identify as gay or lesbian, and 4% of older millennials (ages 29 to 38) did; these are some of the largest percentages among homebuyer groups. Diversity can also be seen in race representation. Only 87% of younger millennials and 83% of older millennials identified as white or Caucasian; these are some of the lowest numbers for homebuyer groups, outside of Generation X (ages 39 to 53). Rounding out all of this data is the topic of language. 3% of millennials aged 28 and younger speak a non-English primary language, while 5% of millennials aged 29 to 38 years do; other than Generation X, these are some of the highest percentages among homeowner groups.
Millennials Are Buying Homes Just to Own Them
One might assume that millennials are a mature generation, but the statistics regarding purchase motives tell a different story. For most people, buying a property is the single largest purchase that they will make in their life. Hence, one should have a good reason for it. However, based on millennial survey answers, that does not seem to be the case.
For many younger millennials and older millennials, their primary reason for buying a house was simply “to own a home of [their] own.” 60% of the younger millennials and 42% of the older millennials delivered this answer, while only 5% to 27% of the older homebuyer groups did. The older homebuyer groups seemed to favor reasons such as wanting to move to a better area and the desire to be closer to family/friends/relatives.
Are Millennials Rushing into the Real Estate Market?
When we dig further into the reasons why millennials chose to buy properties at specific times, we see more of the same uninspired motives. When asked about the primary reason for the timing of their home purchases, 62% of younger millennials and 53% of older millennials responded that it was just the right time and that they were ready to buy a home. The percentages of other homebuyer groups who responded this way were significantly lower; these groups seem to prefer timing their purchases for the availability of homes for sale.
Any real estate broker would agree that the group of millennials entering the market is a good thing for the industry. However, we must ask ourselves if the timing is too soon. Are millennials buying homes due to the pressure of their parents and the mainstream media messages saying that they will never amount to anything? Whatever the reason is, millennials are now in real estate, and they are here to stay. Now, we wait to see what is in store for the younger and even more unpredictable Generation Z.