What comes to mind when you hear the word “Millennial”?
A quick google search prompts you to finish the statement “Millennials are …” with negative descriptors that start with every letter of the alphabet. It seems like 18 to 35 year olds are facing such heavy criticism that “Millennial” has become a derogatory word.
This kind of reproach occurs with every generation. Elders consistently believe that their younger counterparts are foolish, lazy and entitled. No doubt there are members of Gen-Y who are accurately described by these words, but it would be a serious misunderstanding to believe that they are the majority.
Most members of this generation are well-educated and well-informed. They march for equality and practice sustainability. Some are parents of young children and some have just graduated high school. Some are eager to start their careers after they earn their bachelor’s degree; some are attending graduate school to continue their education while researching freshwater ecosystems in Alaska or studying International Business in London. They are teachers around the world, teaching English in Tokyo or teaching Math in Boston. Some chose to be data analysts in New York and others chose to be non-profit workers in San Francisco. Some chose to start their own businesses as entrepreneurs; some chose to start their careers as interns.
The most important part about these 80 million millennials? They are wielding $65 billion in annual buying power and starting to buy their first homes. 34% of home buyers this past year were millennials, the largest share for the fourth consecutive year. It’s safe to say that these urban apartment renters and parents’ basement dwellers are ready to make their first big real estate investment.
Since the average age of a first time homebuyer is 33, most millennials have a few more years before they’re ready to commit to a home, but they are sure to make an impact on the market. Don’t underestimate this generation because of the negative stereotypes that surround them. When they want to buy a home, their business will be extremely important, especially backed by their sizeable purchasing power. Stay open minded, and Millennials will earn your respect.
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Check out our infographic on important trends for Millennial Homebuyers.