Sponsored by national homebuilder PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM), the 2017 PGHI explored millennial home buying habits. Not surprising, the top driver for millennials to consider purchasing a new home in the near future was improved financial positon (46 percent). Yet marriage, once a key driver for homebuyers, was a less significant driver at just 17 percent.
“Our prior research showed the trend toward older millennials buying homes, but it is great to see that 58 percent of all responding millennials already own a home,” said Jay Mason, vice president of market intelligence for PulteGroup. “Even more promising, is that 55 percent of millennials indicated that they expect to purchase their next home within the coming three years, which bodes well for future home sales.”
As millennials establish themselves, they are making home choices with their careers in mind. The top three factors when deciding where to purchase their next house were cost of living (84 percent), good jobs/employment opportunities (81 percent) and commute to work (77 percent). While commute was an important factor, many indicated they would be willing to drive further to work to get a larger home (73 percent), showing the importance millennials place on having their ideal home.
Savvy Millennials Embrace Tech
While in many ways millennials have similar tastes and home buying habits to their older counterparts, they are some of the first homebuyers be very open to experiencing home buying in new ways.
Nearly four in five millennials (79%) feel that they could select a new home through virtual reality. Millennial men, in particularly, are embracing virtual reality with a whopping 88 percent saying they could definitely or probably select a home using virtual reality.
PulteGroup recently announced plans to use virtual reality to give potential homebuyers a unique way to explore their future homes. With the new technology, homebuyers don’t need to wait until a model home is built onsite and are able to see multiple floorplans to aid in choosing the plan that best fits their needs.
It comes as no surprise that 51 percent of millennials think having smart home technology is important in their next home. This is to be expected from a generation that has come to expect connectedness at all times.
But their embrace of new technology and ideas is not just for themselves. millennials also care deeply about the environment and believe in sustainability as evidenced by the 94 percent who indicate they would pay more for an energy-efficient home.
Wide Open Spaces – Within Walking Distance
Despite their differences, millennials have one desire that almost all generations of homebuyers can relate to: the need for space. As they think about their next home, millennials are thinking bigger. Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of millennial homebuyers anticipate their future residence will be larger than their current one.
While they long for space – both indoor and outdoor – they aren’t quite ready to give up having their favorite places within walking distance. They prioritize an active lifestyle, preferring parks and open spaces within walking distance (62 percent). While just under a third (34 percent) preferred to have an easy walk to museums, the symphony or the theater, 65 percent are willing to forgo some of the items on their home wish list to be closer to entertainment and activities.
Some even consider it essential to have their favorite grocery store and coffee shop nearby. One in five millennials (21 percent) indicate having a Whole Foods is what they would most want within walking distance of their next home and two in five (40 percent) placed it within their top three options. Thirty-eight percent of millennials say having a Starbucks within walking distance is extremely or very important to them.
Must Have Features
Continuing with the theme of more space, many of millennials’ favorite features are those that give them room to grow and entertain. Across all features, yard size, garage storage, floor plans and kitchen design are universally most important. The top five must have features are:
- Large, private yard
- Multi-car garage with storage
- Open floorplan
- Eat-in kitchen
- Gourmet kitchen
Some of the traditional features like a formal dining room and a fireplace are still important to millennials. When considering the purchase of a new home, 53 percent said a formal dining room was important. Interestingly, millennial men were more likely than woman to consider it a must have (38 percent of men versus 28 percent of women). Women, on the other hand, can’t live without a spa-like master bathroom (41 percent versus 29 percent).
Keeping Mom & Dad Close and Pets Happy
Millennial homebuyers are indicating they have more than just themselves in mind when purchasing a home.
Millennials want their parents close. But not too close. So much so that 40 percent indicate it is extremely or very important to have parents/in-laws within walking distance of their next home, yet only one third thought it was extremely or very important to have an in-law suite.
Despite their lukewarm feelings about having a designated space for their parents and/or in-laws in their home, the survey indicated that 27 percent of millennials currently have parents living with them, while 26 percent expect their parents to move in with them in the future.
“This was a surprise in the survey,” says Mason. “We’ve always heard of baby boomers anticipating their aging parents would likely be moving in with them, but we hadn’t fully appreciated the high importance millennials place on their family relationships. I think much of this can be attributed to millennials wanting to nurture the grandchildren-to-grandparent connection.”
They also love their pets and are even willing to take their wants into consideration when making a home decision. Over half (51 percent) think it is extremely or very important to have pet spaces – such as a kitchen island with a designated food area for a dog - in their home. Moreover, 35 percent consider a pet space a must have feature that they would consider paying a premium to have.
About the PGHI Survey
The PulteGroup Home Index Survey polled U.S. adults to evaluate the similarities and differences in attitudes, needs, aspirations, and behavior between millennials and Baby Boomers when purchasing a new home. The survey was conducted online by Russell Research from February 8 - 13, 2017 among 2,071 adults, comprised of 1,028 millennials between the ages of 22-36 and 1,043 Baby Boomers between the ages of 50-65, with all survey respondents indicating they intend to purchase a new home in the next 10 years. At a 95 percent confidence level, a margin of sample error of +/- 3.1% applies to each generation in the sample. Figures for gender and geography were weighted where necessary to match their actual proportions in the population.
About PulteGroup, Inc.
PulteGroup, Inc. (NYSE: PHM), based in Atlanta, Georgia, is one of America’s largest homebuilding companies with operations in approximately 50 markets throughout the country. Through its brand portfolio that includes Centex, Pulte Homes, Del Webb, DiVosta Homes and John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods, the company is one of the industry’s most versatile homebuilders able to meet the needs of multiple buyer groups and respond to changing consumer demand. PulteGroup conducts extensive research to provide homebuyers with innovative solutions and consumer inspired homes and communities to make lives better.
For more information about PulteGroup, Inc. and PulteGroup brands, go to pultegroupinc.com; www.pulte.com; www.centex.com; www.delwebb.com; www.divosta.com and www.jwhomes.com. Follow PulteGroup, Inc. on Twitter: @PulteGroupNews.