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Fla.’s Millennials Are Moving Back to the Burbs

David Cobb, regional director for Metrostudy, says millennials are the “No. 1 new-home purchasers” in Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa.

MIAMI – David Cobb, regional director for Metrostudy, says millennials are the “No. 1 new-home purchasers” in Jacksonville, Orlando and Tampa.

Millennials are expected to form 2 million households annually for the next decade, according to Harvard University’s Joint Center for Housing Studies, which explains why builders are increasing their focus on this demographic.

According to many observers, millennials seem to be behaving the same way their predecessors did. They’re just as willing to trade a commute for a single-family detached home, good schools, a yard, safety and value per square foot.

In 2018, the number of millennial new-home buyers increased in Lakewood Ranch, the 14,731-home multi-generational development in Manatee and Sarasota counties south of Tampa Bay, which Metrostudy says was the top-selling master planned community in the nation last year. Millennials there made up 19% of buyers and increased from 16% in 2016. Millennials also accounted for 27% of its resale buyers.

“They are at that next stage,” says Monaca Onstad, Lakewood Ranch’s community relations director. “They’re married. Maybe they’re ready to start having kids. They’re ready to get out of the city and into the suburbs.”

Lakewood Ranch meets the needs of some millennials who prefer suburbs with an urban twist, as it also features employers, craft breweries and other amenities. Other developments, like Lake Nona, 20 miles from downtown Orlando, have a similar mix.

Matthew True, a general sales manager at Pulte North Florida division, says buyers “have to go farther out” from cities to get what they want.

However, some millennials say they can only afford to rent, and a recent Apartment List study found that 10% of millennial renters in Florida plan to “always rent.”

Source: Florida Trend (02/10/20) Vogel, Mike

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