“Millennial” is the label describing the generation of young adults born between about 1980 and the early 2000’s. They’ve become the largest generation of Americans outnumbering even Baby Boomers. According to the National Association of Realtors’ 2015 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Survey, Millennials are now the largest group of homebuyers, dominating one-third of the housing market.
Over the next ten years, Millennials will create about 24 million new households according to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies. Yet, there’s a prevailing lack of clarity on what this generation of young adults desires when it comes to homeownership.
Millennials tend to share a set of unique characteristics that are much different than the generations preceding them. While making generalizations about an entire generation is bound to have inaccuracies, statistically speaking, a greater number of Millennials still live at home with their parents. While previous generations viewed homeownership as a goal, Millennials don’t necessarily share this desire and are satisfied renting. They’re more likely to put off marriage and children. It’s said that Millennials are accustomed to instant gratification and many disregard traditional financial practices like saving for their future. Many are burdened by student loan debt. And having grown up with the Internet, smartphones, and social media, Millennials are more comfortable communicating virtually, possibly to the detriment of face-to-face interaction.
With millennial homebuyers driving the next housing market,
the real estate and mortgage industries are asking:
- What do Millennial Buyers Want? Do they seek homeownership or are they happy just renting? Do they want apartments in the middle of town where the action is? Or is a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence more to their liking? Do they want a modest home? Or a McMansion?
- How Should We Communicate and Cater to Millennials? Like most of us, Millennials suffer from information overload. Yet they may still prefer the latest technology-oriented tools over traditional methods of navigating the mortgage process. Is it wise – or even legally compliant – to honor their wishes? With these young adults having short attention spans, accustomed to check-box disclosures and quickly scrolling to the bottom of the page to click, “I Agree,” is our industry truly doing them any favors by communicating complex concepts and legal disclosures in this fashion?
What Do You Think?
In order to give Millennials what they want, while providing them the financial information they need, all while maintaining legal and compliant methods, we need Millennials participating in the conversation. Please share your thoughts below. By contributing to the conversation we can ensure Millennials purchase the right home for their needs, receive accurate information, valuable advice, and a concierge experience. We can ensure their mortgage complements their financial plans and helps them achieve their financial goals.
Warren Goldberg is President of Mortgage Wealth Advisors, a Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist®, and a published author. His interviews include Blog-Talk Radio, Newsday, and the Long Island Herald. Since 1992, he’s been sharing his financial knowledge and wealth-building strategies, including how to properly use your mortgage as a financial tool. His clients regularly express their trust and appreciation by recommending friends and family call when in need of mortgage, real estate, and financial guidance.