Millennial Home-Buying Trends in the 2020 Luxury Real Estate Market
By Diane Hartley
Millennial home-buying trends have become a hot topic in luxury real estate. Millennials include anyone born between 1981 and 1996, and they’re quickly becoming a dominating force in real estate. In 2018, millennials represented the largest cohort of home buyers at 37 percent, according to the National Association of REALTORS®’ 2019 Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report.
This group now outnumbers baby boomers, and what they’re looking for in a home is drastically different than what their parents wanted when they entered the market. Although there are plenty of high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth millennials—mostly due to taking advantage of online business opportunities—this group started at a disadvantage as most entered adulthood during the last major recession in 2008.
While many have caught up by now, they are still more fiscally conscious than baby boomers were, and millennial home-buying trends lean more toward minimalism than opulent shows of wealth.
Truly understanding millennial home-buying trends means understanding their values, and it’s clear that these buyers are health-conscious, practical and looking for new experiences.
Luxury Condos Have Never Been More in Style
If you’ve kept up with our Luxury Market Reports over the last year, you’ll know that one of the most obvious millennial home-buying trends is luxury condo ownership. Most millennials have fewer children than their baby boomer parents had and are no longer looking to own “McMansion” style homes.
These buyers also love to travel, making it impractical to have such a big space that won’t be used much. And since many are waiting longer to get married and have families in general, luxury condos offer them the ability to socialize in communal areas like rooftop pools and gardens, and offer close proximity to nightlife and entertainment.
These are all key points to hit on in your luxury condo listings. This isn’t to say that all millennials are looking for a smaller space, but many are.
If you notice your larger luxury properties moving slowly, it’s worth figuring out how to present these properties in “bite-sized” pieces to make them more appealing to this group, especially if you’re in an urban area where the millennial population is a bit larger. For instance, if your property has lots of rooms, help them imagine what each room could be used for, like a home yoga studio, an art studio, an Airbnb opportunity or a music room.
Healthy Living Is Non-Negotiable
This group has made it clear that their health is their top priority, so it makes sense that one of the biggest millennial homebuyer trends is to look for properties that offer easy access to healthy activities such as nature trails, yoga studios, gyms and bikeable or walkable areas.
Again, your listing copy and photography should help these buyers envision a better life and the potential to better themselves. Millennials see their homes as a “retreat” from work and other responsibilities, so be sure to include photos of your community in your listing if it offers these things.
Marketing Aesthetic Matters
You may even consider hiring models for lifestyle photos and videos to drive some of these points home in your listings. Some photos could include someone actually doing yoga on the property’s beachfront patio, or a short teaser video of someone walking down the street enjoying the nightlife.
Millennials do a lot of their home-buying and selling research online—if not all of it. The online platform lends itself to visual content, and it’s important to have high-quality photos and videos to attract these clients. If you need inspiration, check out popular luxury accounts on Instagram to get a feel for the aesthetic this group is looking for. Anything less can be a turnoff, and could signal that you’re not in the know.
If you need help with regular social media posts, all Institute Members can take advantage of our strategic partnership with RISmedia to make sure they’re getting consistent, luxury-specific posts that help capture your ideal client’s attention and make it easy for them to find you.
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Diane Hartley is the president of the Institute for Luxury Home Marketing, a premier independent authority in training and designation for real estate agents working in the upper-tier residential market. Hartley brings her passion for luxury marketing and more than 20 years of experience growing and leading businesses to her role as president of the Institute.