A majority of millennials, those aged 18 to 34 who make up the largest demographic group in the nation with a population estimated at 90 million, are intent on buying a home, according to a new survey, and that could have a huge impact on the U.S. real estate market.
The study from PulteGroup showed that 65 percent of the 521 millennials polled said their intention to buy a home has grown over the past year.
In addition, 76 percent said they would not move into their first home alone — they would be accompanied by a spouse or significant other. Of the rest, 22 percent said they would have a roommate, such as a friend or relative.
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“Millennials have witnessed the housing boom and bust, but still believe home ownership is a good investment,” said Fred Ehle, vice president of PulteGroup.
“Consistent with other third-party research that shows more than 90 percent of millennials plan to buy a home someday, we see a lot of young adults who are making financial sacrifices to afford a place of their own.”
Pulte said its survey revealed that 52 percent of the millennials polled reported the desire to own and build equity was the primary reason for purchasing their new home. The second largest reason, at 12 percent, was that millennials were tired of apartment living.
Yahoo estimated that if the millennial home-buying binge gathers steam, “an onslaught of this group into the housing industry could create a boom larger than anything the U.S. has ever seen before.”
Jonathan Miller, president and CEO of real estate consulting firm Miller Samuel, told Yahoo, “The idea of people living with their parents because they can’t afford to go out on their own has been a problem since the credit crunch began five or six years ago.”
A good number millennials are buying because of record high rents, he added. “When faced with these rents, they’re more likely to make the rent versus buy decision and some of them are ending up on the purchase side.”
The Pulte survey showed that floor plan was the most important feature in purchasing a home among millennials. A total of 69 percent said they wanted an open layout space in the kitchen and family rooms for entertaining.
Among the other factors considered extremely important or very important to millennial buyers were ample storage (84 percent), space for TV, movie and sports watching (76 percent) and outdoor living or deck (63 percent).