Over time, housing trends come and go, often driven by new home buyers entering the market and looking for homes that meet their needs and tastes. The more people who like a certain feature, the more likely it is to become commonplace. When thinking back to home trends of the past, it can be easy to think of certain trends- like avocado kitchens and shag carpeting- which simply didn’t appeal to the next generation of homeowners.
Today, we are seeing a new generation make their voice heard, influencing market trends. One generation in particular has come to represent 43% of all home buyers, with numbers rising each year (BankRate.com). Born between 1981 and 1996, and commonly known as Millennials, this generation is quickly becoming a driving force in the market: and one you should consider when upgrading and marketing your home.
Who are these Millennial Home Buyers?
Perhaps more than any other generation, Millennials come from diverse backgrounds and live a wide variety of lives. With ages ranging between 27 and 42, your “typical millennial homebuyer” could be a young blue collar worker with a family looking for a beginner home, or an older mid-level corporate executive with decades of experience under their belt and an impressive salary to match. Having recently surpassing Baby Boomers, in 2022, Millennials were the largest generational group in the US with an estimated population of 72.24 million. (Statista)
As a general rule, Millennials can be defined by their familiarity with technology. While many were introduced as children to concepts like computers and video games, their teen and adult years saw the boom of social media, and smart phones. Millennials have a good understanding of technology, and have grown up in a connected world where ideas and information can be easily shared between friends and total strangers alike. Their tastes have been sculpted by this experience- often meaning that they’re open to new ideas. All this technology has also influenced how they live their lives, with many millennial homebuyers seeking a welcoming, informal environment for their homes. If you want to attract their attention, here are five home design features that are certain to pique their interest.
- Modern Trends: Millennials are a fashion forward demographic, adopting the best elements of the past and adapting them to more modern looks for hybrid designs that stand out compared to more traditional options. For example, consider the combination of sleek, stylish mid-century elements into an otherwise industrial space. Look no further than an Ikea or the local Starbucks to see a unique combination of materials and themes to create a space that feels fresh. Millennials aren’t necessarily opposed to more traditional home designs, but they do seem to gravitate towards more modern, quirky designs. Urban environments, old industrial buildings, and even space-conscious apartments have all become chic options to many in this demographic. They tend to prefer décor that is affordable, cheerful, and sustainable.
- Natural Light: Natural light is not a new idea, but Millennials prefer natural lighting- especially when it comes from large, floor-to-ceiling windows. Even in more traditional homes, skylights and vaulted ceilings which can help improve the airy and light feeling of a room are popular choices for millennial buyers.
- Technology: Millennials know their way around technology and aren’t afraid to utilize it in any way that they can improve their life. While you may not want to rush out and invest in a new refrigerator before you sell, there are a few practical ways you could upgrade your home to better appeal to millennials. Remember phone and cable lines? While they may not appeal much to younger buyers, a good spot for a Wi-Fi router or other internet connection, smart door locks, thermostats, and security systems will attract some extra attention.
- Sustainability and Efficiency: Millennials have a reputation for caring about the environment, and typically often won’t hesitate to spend more to leave a smaller carbon footprint. Homes with green features have seen a remarkable rise in popularity over the past few years. Not only do recycled materials, solar panels, high efficiency appliances and fixtures help the environment, but they can also lower the regular energy costs to heat and cool a home.
Having established themselves as an important part of today’s real estate market, and by becoming the largest generational group, Millennials will continue to have an impact on the housing market for years to come. Watch for more innovation, sustainability, and connected functionality in new home designs over the next decade.