There are significant benefits to understanding what builders need to know about Millennials. Exaggerated stereotypes often dog this youthful demographic. It is common to assume that many are free spirits that would just as soon rent a place in an urban setting. It is too often assumed that they are unduly burdened with college debt, or that they are finding it difficult to find that all-important first job upon graduation.
Truth Challenges Stereotypes
However, the truth about Millennials challenges these stereotypes. For example, research from Zillow suggests that today's younger generation values home ownership just as much or more as previous generations did three or four decades ago.
Prevalence of Two-Income Households
The fact that Millennials are marrying later impacts home ownership for a very basic reason. Couples often have an advantage in saving for a down payment and qualifying for a mortgage. That's simply because they typically enjoy the benefit of two incomes. Zillow estimates that home ownership among Millennials currently stands at 32 percent. If this demographic was marrying at the same age as previous generations, the rate would be 33 percent, one point higher.
Flexible Floor Plans
Flexible living spaces match well with the varied activities of individuals in this demographic. For example, Millennials often respond well to interior spaces that are readily converted from one purpose to another.
Appreciation of All Things Green and Sustainable
Studies also suggest that Millennials are willing to pay more for products that are "green" and sustainable. They will often respond well to homes made with a relatively higher percentage of recycled materials. This view might mean a growing interest in composite decking versus traditional wood decks, for example. Or, this view might increase interest in fiber cement siding over traditional wood siding.
Ultimately, manufacturers who help builders reach out to Millennials will gain an advantage over competitors.