Study: Millennials’ Home-Buying Habits Are Surprisingly Similar to Their Grandparents

published May 4, 2017
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(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

Older generations always seem to think millennials are doing it all wrong, but the truth is, millennials aren’t all that different from their grandparents—especially when it comes to buying their first homes.

New research from Zillow confirms that, while younger people are putting off buying homes later than previous generations (age 33 on average, while older generations averaged out at 29—unsurprising, given the recession and the student loan debt that many millennials are facing), they still have a sizable impact on the housing market. Last year, millennials made up 42 percent of home buyers. Along with that, their home preferences are most similar to that of their grandparents. Millennials are choosing homes with shared community amenities, for example, and considering buying townhouses more than the next most recent generations.

In addition, millennials are skipping the traditional starter home of generations before them and buying bigger homes, similar to the ones older generations buy. According to Zillow, they’re spending a median of $217,000 for 1,800 square feet.

“We’re constantly learning about this young group of home buyers—we’re finding that they are more similar to older generations than many thought,” Jeremy Wacksman, Chief Marketing Officer at Zillow explained. “Their views on community and homeownership are pretty traditional, and they don’t all fit the urban stereotype you might have in your head.”

The study found that almost 50 percent of millennials live in the suburbs, while 33 percent live in urban areas and the remaining 20 percent are in rural areas. Almost 30 percent of the population in both San Diego, CA and Austin, TX is made up of millennials, while Los Angeles, San Antonio and Columbus, OH have millennial populations of over 25 percent.

In addition, Zillow also noted that only 7 percent of millennial homebuyers moved to another state when buying their first home.