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Housing Trends to Reflect Millennial Preferences

Millennials are expected to start strongly impacting housing trends, with their preferences showing up in emphases on energy efficiency, smart home technology, workable kitchens and more casual spaces, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) and Better Homes and Gardens.

Representatives from NAHB and Better Homes and Gardens spoke about generational housing preferences in January during the NAHB International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas.

Where Are First-Time Buyers?

While it appears the millennial generation will be heavily influencing home trends, the majority of these young adults haven’t yet moved out of their parents’ homes and into places of their own, says Rose Quint, NAHB assistant vice president for survey research.

In 2015, about 15 percent of adults ages 25-34 lived with a parent. Those numbers translate into 1.3 million people who, in the past, “would be out there, forming their own households, demanding their own units” as buyers or renters, she says.

The size of a typical new single-family home in 2015 increased to an average of 2,721 square feet, an indication that the new-home market is still dominated by move-up buyers, rather than the first timers who are expected to drive a trend toward smaller houses and lower price points.

“Before we see that expected pullback in square footage and price, we’re going to have to see a significant return of the first-time buyer,” Quint says.

Trends in Home Features for 2016

Homebuyers of all ages want houses with separate laundry rooms, Energy Star appliances and windows, exterior lighting and patios this year.

They also want detached, single-family homes. About 65 percent of all buyers and 68 percent of millennials expressed this preference.

In addition, millennials are interested in home organization and home workspaces, since telecommuting is more common than ever.

“This generation is searching out ideas, following bloggers” and creating Pinterest boards with their preferences, Jill Waage, Better Homes and Gardens brand executive editor, says. “They’ve already curated their dream home online, saving it on their boards so they can [be ready] when the day finally comes.”

About Renee Changnon

Renee Changnon
Renee Changnon is the retail outreach coordinator for NRHA. She meets with retailers in their stores and at industry events and introduces them to the services NRHA provides. Renee previously worked as a member of the NRHA communications team. She earned a degree in visual journalism from Illinois State University, where she served as the features editor for the school newspaper. After college, she implemented marketing and promotions initiatives at Jimmy John’s franchise locations across the country. She enjoys exploring books with her book club, Netflix marathons and hosting goat yoga at her apartment complex. Renee Changnon 317-275-9442 rchangnon@nrha.org

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