What Are Homebuying Millennials Looking For in New Construction?

Millennial Homebuying Trends

What Are Millennials Looking For In New Home Construction?

For the fourth year in a row, Millennials are the largest group (34 percent, in fact) of home buyers. So says the National Association of Realtor’s 2017 Home Buyer and Seller Generational Trends Study, which takes the data from its annual Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. This year’s study found that 66% of those buying a home aged 36 years and younger were first-time buyers and, perhaps surprisingly, are becoming more traditional in their buying habits.

One common misconception shattered by the study? That when buying a home, Millennials are looking for upscale city housing that’s within walking distance to work and entertainment. Other interesting facts the Millennial homebuying study uncovered include:

  • Fourteen percent of Millennials buy newly constructed homes.
  • Their reason for buying new construction were to avoid renovations, as well as plumbing and electricity problems.
  • Heating and cooling costs were the top environmental features, but commuting costs were more important overall.
  • Millennials expect to live in their purchased home for 10 years.

What Millennials Look for in New Construction

When buying a home that is newly constructed, Millennials definitely have their priorities – and expectations. As they continue to infiltrate the new home market, here are just some of the ways they’ll influence how homes are constructed in the decades to come.

Forget Levittown and the McMansion - A "Goldilocks" Home Size Matters

That 1200 square foot ranch with two bedrooms that was so popular with families coming out of the second world war is not going to cut it for Millennials, but neither is the 4500sqft tract home that gained popularity in the early 200'0's.  When asked, most Millennials would like to have a home with about 2,500 square feet. Two-story homes with open concept floor plans are also preferred, as are three to four bedrooms and two to two-and-a-half baths.

For Millennials, Lifestyle is A Priority

How the home enhances their lifestyle is much more important than any one feature. Millennials want stylish homes that help them celebrate family and friends. A big part of making that happen is smart technology: appliance preheating, remote locks and lighting, and other features they can control from their smartphones or tablets. Laundry rooms, lots of storage, walk-in pantries, and exterior lighting top the list of items Millennials feel are essential to a fun and functional home.

The Great Outdoors - Patios, Fire Pits and Outdoor Kitchens

Outdoor living also matters. Nearly 60% of Millennials want an outdoor living space; in fact, they consider it a necessity, especially for entertaining. Three out of four Millennials say they want a patio, deck, and/or porch, with at least half preferring an outdoor kitchen. They also consider pet amenities to be important.

Open Concept Floor Plans

Open living spaces are extremely popular with Millennials, as multifunctional spaces make it possible to “experience” a room for different reasons. Formal dining and living rooms are a thing of the past, as are closed-off kitchens. Millennials are also demanding a better experience and higher product performance from their appliances. They expect them to be energy efficient, attractive, and to blend seamlessly with other home materials.

Millennials Care About The Environment

More important than ever, eco-friendly living extends to things like Energy Star appliances and the use of reclaimed materials like bamboo flooring and Paperstone Countertops. Products like heat recovery ventilators and energy-efficient windows and skylights are appreciated for their cost-saving benefits. 

Buying a Home That’s “Just Right”

There’s no question that Millennials consider owning their own home an important part of their life experience. They are attracted to new construction because the homes are fully updated and move-in ready. While just a small percentage consider their home a permanent arrangement, nearly half of Millennials would rather buy a newly constructed home in order to avoid maintenance issues.

Much like baby boomers had an enormous impact on home building by creating the suburbs, Millennials are now beginning to make their mark. Home design and buying information on websites like Houzz, Home Advisor and Zillow means Millennials are better informed about their new home construction options than any other generation before them. The combination of high-quality construction, improved flexibility in floor plans, eco-consciousness, and low maintenance is a challenge designers, builders, and remodelers will face for many years to come.

If you need help with online marketing or a Squarespace website that will attract Millennial Home Buyers, contact us. We can help you create an online presence that appeals to this large and growing market.


About Michael Conway

I'm the owner and strategist at Means-of-Production. My firm builds Squarespace websites, Houzz profiles, and content marketing and advertising solutions for architects, interior designers, design-build contractors and landscape design firms. Our all-in-one marketing tactics attract the right clients with exceptional architectural photography and brand messaging that sets you apart from the competition.