Builders Bet on Luxe Townhomes to Win Over Young Buyers

January 17, 2019

Builders across the country are betting on luxury townhomes to try to get more young adults into homeownership. Open floor plans, high ceilings, and upgraded amenities are features they hope will lure millennials to buy their first home.

Builders betting on townhomes for young buyers

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“When a lot of people think of townhouses, they think of these very narrow homes because the floors are stacked on top of one another,” Felix Bravo, a sales executive with Pordes Residential in Miami, told Forbes.com. He is selling townhomes up to 3,000 square feet starting at $900,000. “With the amount of space we have, they have a very open feel.” The amenities include a private rooftop terrace with a jacuzzi and outdoor kitchen.

“The wow factor is how much space they have and how luxurious the interior is in terms of appliances, cabinetry, and the kitchen island,” says Bravo. “The second biggest wow factor is being able to go up to your own private rooftop and hop into your private jacuzzi. It makes you feel like you’re worth a million bucks.”

Builders hope that such luxurious townhomes will attract more young adults to consider buying one.

“There are plenty of examples of townhouses being built as luxury homes,” Robert Dietz, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, told Forbes.com. “You’ve got your four-story townhouses, particularly in high-cost metro areas.”

A townhome can offer a “suburban-type feel” while also adding in some walkability to a neighborhood—two features that millennials say they desire in a home, Dietz says. Single-family attached townhouses provide a higher density and, therefore, more opportunities for retail and commercial around it that is walkable, Dietz says.

Since 2009, new townhome construction has been increasing. Townhouse starts were 24 percent higher in the third quarter of 2018 than the previous four quarters, according to NAHB data. The market share of townhouses is currently at about 14 percent of single-family home construction, which marks a post-recession high.

Dietz predicts over the next five years that the townhome market share will continue to rise and reach about 20 percent.