Millennials are the new generation of homebuyers, born between 1980 and 1995.
They were raised by doting parents who told them they are special, played in little leagues with no winners or losers, or all winners. The workplace has become a psychological battlefield and the millennials have the upper hand, because they are tech savvy, with every gadget imaginable almost becoming an extension of their bodies. And their priorities are simple: they come first. Millennials grew up with baby boomer parents and lived in a single- family home with sidewalks to shovel and lawns to mow. However, experts are saying that Millennials are not wanting to live that same lifestyle and are looking for something that “isn’t their parent’s homes”. Millennials want the convenience to walk and live in an urban setting. This is currently where Calgary residential developers are investing their time; into building more sustainable, complete communities, thus appealing to this generation.
McKenzie Towne in SE Calgary, was one of the first, developed by Brookfield Residential and was designed to be a neo-traditional community which offers features that allow people to live, work and play in the same area. Since then many other similar communities are popping up, due to this increase in demand, such examples are Quarry Park, Walden, Nolan Hill. These communities are all fulfilling the urban feel and walkability that is so sought after by this generation.
Another trend with Millennials, is they are having a difficult time entering the housing market. This is due to a higher unemployment rate and higher tuition rates. Millennials are more in debt than their parents were, thus making it hard to think about paying for a house. The increase in housing prices is an even bigger challenge for Millennials. The average house price in 2011 was ten times the median salary of a young family. In 1984, this ratio was only about five times,” said BMO senior economist Sal Guatieri in the same Canadian Press Article. Lastly since Millennials are tech savvy real estate agents, brokers and others involved in the purchase and sale of real estate will need to appeal to this market by including virtual tours, mobile apps and online marketing to appeal to this audience.
Our industry must evolve with these generations as it is important to keep up with what future homebuyers are demanding.
Source : Sophie Gowsell, Canadian Home Builder’s Association.