This article was written by Peter Burley, Director, Richard J. Rosenthal Center for Real Estate Studies.
Gen Y. Baby Boom Echo. Millennials.
While they go by many different names, the generation of young people born between 1980 and 2000 has begun to shape the housing market in powerful ways. And, REALTORS® are beginning to take notice, including adapting to buyer preferences for environmentally friendly features and new technologies.
In a panel discussion organized by the Richard J. Rosenthal Center for Real Estate Studies at REALTOR® University and presented at the 2015 REALTORS® Conference & Expo in San Diego on November 14th, many of those preferences were outlined by Jessica Lautz, NAR’s Managing Director of Survey Research, Chad Curry, Managing Director of the Center for REALTOR® Technology, and Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.com.
Lautz presented new findings from the newly released 2015 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, pointing out that millennials are just as likely to seek homeownership as past generations. In fact, those in the leading edge of the millennial generation, those aged 25-34 years, represent the largest cohort of home buyers, according to Smoke’s analysis of the NAR data. Those who are held back from buying point to difficulty saving for a down payment and qualifying for a mortgage.
As for environmentally friendly features in the home, the panel agreed that demand for green technologies varies, but that their presence is likely to become increasingly important going forward. Curry presented a number of new technologies that will ultimately indicate how well a home is performing, from monitoring humidity and carbon dioxide levels to accurately measuring and adjusting temperature.
The session was introduced by Leslie Appleton-Young, Chief Economist at the California Association of REALTORS® and moderated by Lawrence Yun, Sr. Vice President and Chief Economist at the National Association of REALTORS®.