Millennials, they are taking over the world with their hipster jeans, nerdy glasses, and penchant for Apple products and Starbucks. No, these aren’t the ramblings of an annoyed old man, it’s simply the truth. Not only are Millennials taking over the world, they are growing up and starting to take over the new home market, and they have great taste, if I don’t say so myself.
An article by Builder Magazine online shows that Millennials, also identified as Generation Y, constitute 80 million Americans. They spend more money than any other group of consumers and they typically don’t move into their own home until they find something with a design that catches their eye. This a generation that grew up almost exclusively with advanced online technology and constant access to whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted it. Because of the way this generation was raised, they have a heightened awareness of design features and aesthetics. Sleekly designed electronics have become a staple in the lives of Gen Y’ers, and the constantly changing electronic world has groomed them to expect the latest and greatest in clothing, music and transportation.
Builder Magazine has identified five design attributes that appeal to Millennials, and if it’s good enough for them, it should be good enough for us all. They are our future, right?
First is functionality. A place for everything and everything in its place. Every feature of a home should serve a purpose; if it is especially well designed, it should serve a few purposes.
Second on the list is community. From the days of MySpace and Napster to the present day joy of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and all of the other social media sites, community is a big deal for Generation Y. That also translates to home features like smaller communities that foster getting to know neighbors, as well as communities that have regular activities as part of its amenities program.
Next up is modern architecture. Refurbished lofts, exposed brick and beam work and industrial flair – these are just a few design and architectural styles that appeal to Millennials. This generation is more likely to gravitate toward a suburban look or feel with clean lines and less space to be responsible for.
Another design attribute appealing to the new generation of home buyers is convenient sustainability. It’s not just about the green cleaning products, community garden, and recycling. This generation values responsible building, eco-conscious living and a reduced carbon footprint. Think big: let’s go from CFL’s to solar panels, from tankless water heaters to rain water cisterns. Okay, that may be a little extreme. Nevertheless, you get the picture.
Finally, technology. It’s a given for this demographic. They expect fully wired homes with automated everything. We are going from the smart phone to the smart home, and gadgetry is expected to become a huge part of newly constructed homes. Temperature control, energy output and entertainment have become an integral part of home life for Millennials and they are going to want the technology used in homes to be convenient.
As the Millennial population continues its journey further into adulthood it will be interesting to see what other areas of the economy, culture and design they have an impact on. The housing market is definitely seeing the generation making a comeback to the housing market as we reported earlier this year. With home sales continuing to improve and more Millennials buying homes, the builders are in for an exciting time!