Standing Room Only at REALTOR® University’s Mind of the Millennials Presentation


“The Minds of the Millennials – Motivation, Mobility, and Making a Home” was presented by REALTOR® University and speakers Paul Taylor, author of The Next America: Boomers, Millennials and the Looming Generational Showdown and Jessica Lautz, Managing Director of Survey Research and Communications. NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, moderated the discussion. The presentation took place at the 2016 REALTORS® Legislative Meetings & Trade Expo.

A Portrait of a Generation in Graphics:

Paul Taylor, who served as the Pew Research Center’s executive vice president from 2003 to 2014, began the presentation, addressing a packed room. It was standing room only, but that didn’t deter attendees interested in the motivations of Millennials and the whys and wheres of Millennial household formation and home buying potential. While serving at the Pew Research Center, Taylor oversaw its entire demographic, social and generational research, and the presentation heavily centered around trend data on Millennials.

Each slide of Taylor’s presentation seemed to bring with it another vivid graphic capturing a portrait of a generation. The audience listening intently with smart phones held high attempting to capture the graphs for themselves.

Taylor provided the below “textbook” definition of Millennials:

Millennials are those born after 1980. They tend to be less religiously affiliated, and they’ve been slow to marry and have children. They are considered “digital natives” who grew up with cellphones and social networking. Although they are highly educated they struggle financially due to the economy. Politically, half of them identify as independents, more than any other generation.

And then brought the generation’s opinions, experiences, and preferences alive through a compilation of graphics like the below:

All graphics compiled from Paul Taylor’s presentation. Access the entire presentation here.




Hurdles to Home Buying for Millennials:

Jessica Lautz followed with her discussion on the recently released Generational Trends Report which documents how each generation approaches the process of buying or selling a home, focusing her discussion on Millennials and outlining their housing hurdles, such as flat wages, rise in rents, student loan debt, and rise in home prices. With these obstacles to home buying, multi-generational home buying becomes an appealing option, with 1 in 6 younger boomers purchasing multi-generational homes, a cost savings option among other reasons.

94% of renters under the age of 34 want to own, and 53% of renters don’t currently own because they can’t afford to buy. Lautz noted catalysts for renter decisions to buy would be lifestyle changes such as marriage/starting a family, improvement in financials and the desire to settle down in one location. Homeownership is still important to Millennials and 48% of buyers in this generation bought for the pure desire of owning a place of their own.

Find Jessica Lautz’s full presentation here and for quick highlights of the Generational Trends Report check out the below infographic:

Content is developed in collaboration with the Richard J Rosenthal Center for Real Estate Studies.


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