The Houston Chronicle’s Paul Takahashi sits down with Scott Davis, a regional director with Metrostudy, to explore what millennials are looking for when they’re looking for a home, and how their preferences will nudge the housing market in different directions. 

1. Homes in the suburbs

Conventional wisdom says Millennials gravitate toward dense urban cities where they can walk to work and play. However, research shows that only 15 percent of 20-something Millennials— as opposed to 20 percent of Gen Xers when they were in their 20s — are living in cities.
Millennials, many of whom grew up in suburbs, do want an urban lifestyle, Davis said. However, many experts predict Millennials will actually buy a home in the suburbs where there are good schools, job growth and an increasing number of mixed-use urban-style projects.
“Millennials are going to be buying in the suburbs,” Davis said. “They’re already there, and that’s where affordable housing is.”

2. Small but high-quality homes
First-time home builders were long advised to buy the biggest home they could afford.
However, that’s not the way Millennials are thinking, Davis said. Millennials, unlike previous generations, want patio-style homes and smaller yards that are easier to maintain.
Millennials, who grew up in the green movement, also want energy-efficient homes that can save them money in heating and cooling costs, Davis said. They are willing to trade off size for high-quality homes.
“Millennials expect the same high level of finish they had at their homes growing up,” Davis said.


3. Homes to create experiences, not store stuff
Millennials want a lot of flexible space to entertain family and friends, Davis said.
Millennials like open floor plans, with kitchens that open into the living room and a large outdoor living space. Some may not want dedicated spaces, like a formal dining room. Many Millennials want the flexibility to turn a dining room into a study, or vice versa, Davis said.

“The Millennial outlook on life is a quest for experience,” Davis said. “Millennials are looking for places to have and share experiences with friends and family. They’re focused on doing things besides working on their house and acquiring a lot of stuff.”

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