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How are millennials changing home marketplace?


LAS VEGAS – Feb. 7, 2014 – Better Homes and Gardens released findings from its sixth-annual survey on homebuyers. According to the Boston Consulting Group, U.S. Millennials – young adults in their twenties or low thirties – account for an estimated $1.3 trillion in direct annual spending. In the next fifteen years, Millennials are projected outnumber Baby Boomers 78 million to 56 million.

This year’s Better Homes and Gardens research focused on Millennials’ preferences for their next home, and asked more than 3,200 prospective homebuyers to share their thoughts on home improvement spending, the importance of personalization, and technology in home value.

“Millennials are swarming into the home marketplace armed with information, ideas and a passionate desire for personalization,” says Jill Waage, editorial director for home content for Better Homes and Gardens. “Home builders, designers, and remodelers should know that this generation expects you to work with them as collaborators not just contractors. … This generation wants homes that reflect their individuality, and their sheer size will reshape the home market for decades to come.”

Buying a home

  • Like previous generations, Millennials believe owning a home is part of the American Dream (79%) and that a home remains a good investment (77%); however, many find qualifying a challenge.
  • 35% of Millennials said a lack of downpayment was the greatest obstacle to making the dream a reality.
  • One-quarter of respondents would be willing to take out a loan to take advantage of the current market.

Newly built vs. fixing up

  • The Millennials are least likely to expect their next home to be newly built (18%) and most likely to say their next home will be a house they can fix up (23%).
  • Among those planning a home improvement project in the next 12 months, nearly 35% highly agree that “now is the right time to spend” on home improvements.
  • Among the respondents, 45% of Millennials said they are in the process of planning or doing a major home improvement or decorating project. And, 75% of this group report decorating with furniture and accessories.
  • Workspaces in the home continue to gain importance. Out of those surveyed, 26% of Millennials said they’re building or planning to build a home office, work space or family computing center. However, these spaces aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. A reported 41% felt a combined office-hobby-crafts-art room was ideal.
  • When thinking about future projects, casual entertaining is very popular: 35% reported wanting to work on outdoor living or entertaining areas; 42% desire exterior upgrades like a deck, porch or patio.
  • Millennials also see value in curb appeal; 52% report they will add/replace plantings, shrubs and trees. Furthermore, 40% of millennial respondents want to make their home more energy efficient.

Home personalization
Among those surveyed, Millennials want creative ways to improve the look and feel of their home… 34% of Millennials plan to change the function of a room, such as a nursery, office, craft/hobby space. Examples of personalization and home individualization include chalkboards, under stair storage, and adding bins and buckets to maximize shelving. Other personalization trends include industrial and vintage elements in the bathroom, sliding barn doors and children’s furnishings as part of decor choices.

Mobile access mavens

  • Nearly 6 in 10 respondents said they use a smartphone or tablet to access home-related information. They primarily use a mobile device to find decorating ideas or shop for home items.
  • Among Millennials, when asked, “In which of the following ways do you use your smartphone or tablet to access home-related information?” they responded:
    • Find inspiration and get ideas for decorating: 67%
    • Look for info on home repairs/how to do them: 58%
    • Shop for things for my home: 58%
    • Get ideas on buying or selling a home: 24%
    • Find house plans: 19%
    • Access info I’ve saved (ex: Pinterest): 63%
    • Store photos I have taken of my space: 52%

The online survey was fielded Oct. 24 – Nov. 7, 2013 among a random sample of Better Homes and Gardens reader panelists. Additionally, the survey was deployed to a sample of Parents and FamilyFun reader panelists who indicated readership of Better Homes and Gardens. A total of 3,284 completed the survey, of whom 1,374 (48%) are self-reported prospective homebuyers and were administered questions related to their next home. Among the remaining non-prospective homebuyers, 1,172 (41%) said they're anticipating a major home improvement in the next 12 months – these respondents were administered questions related to their home improvement projects. The sampling error on the total sample is +/- 2%.

© 2014 Florida Realtors®

Related Topics: Trends