With the millennial generation reaching an age where they are becoming first-time homebuyers, the question is whether they’ll follow their parents home-buying trends. While most people assume that they will flock to big cities to support the “work hard, play hard,” lifestyle that is popular among twenty-somethings, in this case, the conventional wisdom is wrong.
In reality, millennials are increasingly turning to the suburbs as a location for their first home. One survey, conducted by the Demand Institute, found that 48% of millennials said they would look to suburbs when buying their next home. There are multiple things that millennials are finding attractive about the suburbs. For one, housing prices tend to be less expensive in the suburbs than for homes or apartments in cities. Suburban homes also offer more space, which many millennials are now claiming is an important factor in their home-buying decisions. In addition, living in the suburbs isn’t always a constant commute as it used to be since many jobs, especially in the technology sphere,let employees work part-time or telecommute.
Aside from greater indoor and outdoor space, millennials also increasingly list open kitchens as a desired aspect of a new home. Because these are more difficult to find in cities, they are yet another reason that renting an apartment isn’t always the go-to option for millennials anymore. It is also important to note that most millennial homebuyers are turning away from single=family suburban ‘starter homes.’ While starter homes are usually thought of as the go-to choice for first-time homebuyers (hence the name) millennials are looking for properties with more space if they can afford it.
As millennials move towards the suburbs, the big cities are becoming far less attractive. Affordability is commonly listed as the primary barrier to buying a home, which makes popular cities like New York and Boston increasingly unaffordable for millennials. This has led them to turn to the more-affordable suburbs. However, not all cities are considered unaffordable my millennials. Fortune lists Salt Lake City, St. Louis and Denver as three of the most popular destinations for millennial homebuyers. The increase in small businesses and low-cost housing in these cities are making them popular destinations for millennials, and as more of their peers move to these cities, they become increasingly attractive.
Overall, along with these newer, hipper cities, suburbs are becoming the most popular home-buying destination for millennials.