What the Millennial First-Time Homebuyer Looks Like in 2016

Posted by Laine Smith on 8/29/16 11:26 AM

Topics: Home Buying

Last year, Millennials made up the largest generational share of homebuyers. Their wants and needs in the housing market are heavily-observed and analyzed – and for good reason! Here are six surprising statistics from a recent TD Bank survey of potential first-time homebuyers.


Millennials want to pay off their mortgages quickly.

The study found a significant amount of Millennial homebuyers want to be mortgage-free sooner than later. Nearly a third of respondents said they are considering a 15-year mortgage.

Millennials desire attractive design, at-home amenities and good school districts.


Millennials still place a lot of value in the entertainment potential of their homes, which is likely why attractive home design and great outdoor living spaces (i.e. backyard or pool) were the two top amenities Millennials were looking for.

Whether it’s because they’re preparing to have children, they have children or just know that home values are significantly higher in good school districts, the amount of Millennial homebuyers who desired a home in a good school district or location with good childcare increased this year.

TD’s study noted that location and community amenities are rising against home amenities amongst all age groups, not just Millennials.

Millennials who are waiting to buy want to make sure they have their financial ducks in a row first.


Saving for a down payment, paying down debt and waiting for a steady job were the top three reasons Millennials weren’t actively looking to purchase a home. There was also an increase in Millennial respondents who said they were waiting to get married or start a family (24%) before embarking on their homeownership journey. 

A significant amount of Millennials anticipate putting at least 20 percent down on their home purchase.

Whether they’re unaware of low down payment mortgage options or want a lower monthly mortgage payment, 65 percent of Millennials plan to make a hefty down payment.

Potential Millennial homebuyers are the most likely age group to purchase in the suburbs, as opposed to a city, small town or rural area.

Last year, the amount of Millennials who moved to the suburbs increased, according to the National Association of Realtors 2016 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends report.

According to TD Bank’s survey, nearly half of Millennials plan to purchase in a suburban area. Home affordability and commuting distance are likely the biggest factors in this statistic.

Move-in ready is the top home choice amongst Millennials.

Seventy-eight percent of potential buyers said that a move-in ready home is their top pick over new construction or a fixer-upper. Of the home features Millennials want in 2016, low-maintenance and up-to-date are two that carry a significant amount of value.

Seventy-seven percent of Millennials also said that mortgage rates were the most important element when looking for a home. Currently mortgage rates are not far from historic lows. If you’ve been sitting on the rent vs. buy fence, download our free Mortgage 101 Handbook for everything you need to know about what it takes to purchase your first home.

Download: Mortgage 101 Handbook

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