Reinventing the American Dream: Location and the Millennial Homebuyer

Posted by Laine Smith on 10/29/14 10:00 AM

Topics: Economy

Millennials, also known as “Generation Y”, are just like any other generation when it comes to the American Dream; they acknowledge that homeownership is a key component and are striving to achieve it.

But this young generation of homebuyers are reinterpreting the traditional norms of homebuying and customizing their home choice to fit their personal values and needs, particularly when it comes to location.

Millennials, anyone born between 1980 and 1995, account for the largest share of homebuyers at 31 percent in 2013, according to the National Association of Realtors 2014 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends. Though all generations tend to favor a home in a suburban area, millennials are more likely to purchase in an urban or central city area than their parents. Here’s why.


Shorter Commutes and Access to Public Transportation

Millennials have to worry about gas prices and environmental impact, so they are looking for properties in closer proximity to where they work or at least near a source of public transportation. Thirty-seven percent of millennials said that commuting costs were a very important factor in their home purchase.

Whereas millennials’ parents were willing to sit in a car for hour-long commutes to and from the suburbs, millennials want a home in a location that is convenient. The faster millennials can get from point A to point B, the better.

Neighborhood Amenities

Generation Y is also putting a big emphasis on location perks, even more so than the house they buy. Millennials value walking distance to bars, restaurants, entertainment, parks, and recreation more than any other generation of homebuyers, even if it means compromising on other aspects of the home or neighborhood, like size and school districts.

Friends Nearby

Millennials want to be where other similar millennials are. This conforming generation wants to be around others who share similar values and interests. Millennials desire a strong sense of community and being around others with similar lifestyles.

So what’s making this group of young homebuyers abandon the cookie cutter vision of a 3-bedroom colonial in the suburbs with a white picket fence and daily commute? Location, location, location.

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