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Marketing to Millennial Buyers: What Do They Want?

HarrisX survey: Millennials who enter the market expect competition, and they’re willing to ask Mom and Dad for money. Of those surveyed, 75% have been working remotely, with 63% ready to buy a home now for that reason, and 49% saying it’s happening sooner than expected.

SANTA CLARA, Calif. – The COVID-19 pandemic pushed nearly half of millennial home shoppers to speed up their home buying timeline, according to a HarrisX survey of 2,000 home shoppers who plan on purchasing a home within the next year. The study, funded by realtor.com, shows the largest generation in U.S. history is prepared for a competitive market, and they’re willing to ask Mom and Dad for financial help.

“If there is any silver lining to the current economic landscape, it’s that mortgage rates are hanging around record lows,” says Danielle Hale, chief economist at realtor.com. “With little to no equity to leverage, millennial homebuyers tend to take out larger loans. Historically low rates are making this more manageable, even with rising home prices.”

Hale says today’s millennial buyers are largely the ones who “were fortunate enough to keep their jobs and save for a down payment – one of the largest hurdles of buying a home. The combination of low rates and the opportunity to save is enabling many millennials to move up their home buying timeline.”

COVID accelerates millennials’ plans

  • 75% of millennials have been working remotely since the COVID pandemic hit. Of those respondents, 63% said they plan on purchasing a home because of their ability to work remotely.
  • Nearly half of millennial respondents – 49% – say COVID pushed them to buy a home sooner than their original timeline.

Home search techniques

Fifty-nine percent of millennials say COVID changed the way they approached their home search. Of those respondents:

  • 37% spent more time researching properties online
  • 35% spent more time looking at listing photos
  • 32% spent more time watching listing videos
  • 31% were more selective about the homes they decide to tour
  • 27% drove by the home to check out the neighborhood

Buyer competition

  • 71% of millennial respondents expect some or a lot of buyer competition in the market
  • 68% said shelter-in-place orders helped them save for a down payment
  • 45% expect financial assistance from family or friends

Why buy now?

  • Over a quarter – 26% – of millennials said they’re tired of their current home, and that was driving their desire to purchase one
  • 23% of millennials said a growing family was the main driver
  • 22% cited favorable home prices
  • 20% cited favorable interest rates
  • 18% reported a desire to live in a safer neighborhood

What kind of home do they want?

  • 36% are looking for an “entry-level” home at or under $200,000
  • 28% want a home between $200,000 and $350,000 (Altogether, 63% of millennials seek a home at or below $350,000 – the median U.S. price)
  • 37% of millennials are looking for a home over $350,000
  • 54% believe home prices have hit their peak

Where are they going?

  • 49% want to move within their current city
  • 31% want to move from the city to the suburbs, a higher percentage than either Gen X or baby boomers
  • 13% want a different city but in the same state
  • 8% want to move to a completely different state

Millennials are the largest generation in U.S. history, born between 1981 and 1997. For the last 5 years, they’ve been the dominant buying force in the market.

© 2020 Florida Realtors®