How the Housing Preferences of Millennials are Remaking American Homes

Millennials – those born between 1980 and 2000 – are beginning to shape the way homes are designed and constructed, according to panelists who spoke at a press conference during the 2016 National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. The experts said that while all generations shared some common home preferences, such as the desire for energy efficiency, millennials have some specific items on their wish list.

Features Millennials Want

Although millennials have not dived into homeownership as rapidly as expected – a 2015 survey by the Urban Land Institute® revealed that 50 % of millennials are renting housing and 21 % live at home with parents – this age group still makes up the largest group of recent homebuyers. Among all generations, the 2015 National Association of Realtors® Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends study found that the majority of recent buyers (32 %) belonged to the millennial generation – and this number is expected to rise sharply as more young adults begin to form their own households.

For this group of young buyers, having their own space is a top priority: 68 % expressed a preference for a single-family, detached home. In addition, here are other popular features that real estate experts say the millennial generation is consistently drawn to.

  • Low-maintenance materials. Features that require little-to-no upkeep are the most appealing to busy millennials. This means they prefer hardwood floors to carpet, and engineered wood siding options to traditional wood. Other preferences include granite countertops, vent-free fireplaces and floors made from porcelain tile.
  • Tech-friendly features. For plugged-in millennials, technology is a necessity rather than a luxury. This generation wants smart home technology that is customizable to their needs, so they can control home systems, increase security, improve energy efficiency and even monitor package delivery from their smartphones.
  • Open floorplans. Millennials prefer an open floorplan that facilitates interaction among family and friends. They are also drawn to outdoor living spaces and are more likely than older generations to use these spaces to dine, relax and entertain.
  • Energy efficiency. Millennials are concerned about the environment and want homes that don’t waste energy. They prefer smaller homes with energy-efficient appliances, LED lighting and other features that help them save on utility bills.

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