Millennials Prefer Practical Homes

December 9, 2014

Millennials are showing more practicality than pizzazz in their real estate tastes, tending to buy homes that are smaller, older, and less expensive, according to a report by the National Association of Home Builders that analyzes newly released 2013 American Housing Survey data.

They don't tend to gravitate toward new homes. Less than 9 percent of Millennial home buyers purchased a new home compared to 12 percent of older home buyers.

More than two-thirds of Millennial buyers purchased a single-family detached home, but Millennials are more likely to consider condos as well. Nearly 9 percent of Millennial home buyers purchased a multifamily condo compared to less than 6 percent of older home buyers.  

Since this is often their first time entering home ownership, Millennials focus on lower price ranges. Half of all homes purchased by Millennials cost less than $148,500. Therefore, the homes tended to be smaller, averaging less than 1,650 square feet.

Millennials surveyed say that financial reasons are among one of the biggest influences when home shopping, while older generations consider finding the right size home a more powerful influence. Millennials also carefully consider location, and they are more likely to pay attention to commute times to work and being near good schools, the survey found.

In a separate study conducted earlier this year by®, Millennials said they'd move to the suburbs if it meant being closer to quality schools. Millennials were less likely to compromise on school districts when looking for a home. In fact, 52 percent of Millennials said school districts are a deal-breaker in their home search compared to 31 percent of all buyers, the® survey found. 

Where are Millennial buyers heading? The National Association of REALTORS® recently identified the top housing markets for aspiring Millennial home buyers. Seven of the 10 metro areas were in the Midwest and West. View the full list.

Source: “What Homes Do Millennials Buy?” National Association of Home Builders’ Eye on Housing (Dec. 8, 2014)