Real Estate News

Millennials bring pros and cons to current housing market

Published: 22 May 2017

Millennials face a lot of scrutiny, including when it comes to housing sales. Right now, opinions differ as to which generation is creating hurdles for the market, but multiple sources seem to think that age demographics are a divisive factor for the current crop of potential buyers. A key debate seems to be whether millennials or the older baby boomer generation is to blame for issues with sales.

The Wall Street Journal expressed one version of these arguments - that millennial preferences for urban life is unfairly skewing housing developments. According to this perspective (and information from BuildZoom), residential housing sales decreased for properties outside of city limits within the past few years. Since suburbs usually account for a large amount of new homes, the shift can be seen as a possibly disruptive one, changing the established pattern.

On the other hand, it may not be the millennials alone who are caught in a conflict over housing. Business Insider spoke to Zillow senior managing economist Skylar Olsen, who said that the two groups of buyers are looking for similar property, potentially putting the two of them at odds, despite their inherent differences.

"One of the things that we find is that millennials are looking for affordability, but because it's such an issue, and competition is so high, and so many of those low-end homes are renting rather than being available for sale, they tend to be skipping starter homes and looking for something larger," she said.

Another factor the article mentioned was the different attitude of millennial buyers. Since they may not want to bother with a starter home, the younger of these two groups may prefer a building that could last them and that they don't plan on selling in the near future, potentially dictating their next moves.