Millennials and the Housing Market

Ready or not, the person in the driver’s seat is a Millennial. Residential real estate professionals know this, and increasingly investors do, too. Sixty-six percent of Millennials are expected to buy homes in the next five years. Millennials already buy 34% of all American homes, and more than 40% of sellers in today’s transactions are Millennials. It’s not coming; it’s here. And in the market for Atlanta condos, it’s been with us for a while.



It’s What We’ve Been Hearing, Too

A kind of smokescreen covered the advance of Millennials to the position of influence they hold today. Student loans, post-2008 unemployment, the legends of the parents’ basements, the stories made their buying power sound insignificant. What happened, in fact, to their generation is actually more like the fortunes that were experienced by college graduates who went straight to big cities in prior generations. It took them longer to develop the wherewithal to make the first step in home ownership.

Ask any Baby Boomer who went from Macon to Manhattan, and they’ll tell you it was the same for them. While their contemporaries who stayed home were driving nice cars and shopping for a larger home, the big city dwellers were still renting. For Millennials, even the ones who didn’t venture so far experienced the same thing.

So, the slacker in the basement is one Millennial legend that has a hole in it. But here’s one Millennial story that gets a line under it – at least as it relates to real estate. Millennials want things to be just right. Having saved longer for their down payment, and having less money left over after they purchase, Millennials look for homes that are move-in-ready. Kitchens, baths, and open floor plans and a good location are priorities.


The “So What” Includes Technology

Of course, strong Internet and cellular service are a priority for Atlanta new construction, in part because of Millennials. The greatest tech impact Millennials bring with them will likely be the in the way virtual reality (VR) will quickly become an expected means for to evaluate their options.

Though virtual reality and augmented reality (AR) might sound futuristic, remember how rapidly the Internet changed the way people shop for a home, and what is required to sell one. We take online listings so much for granted that even professionals who were hard at work before the digital revolution take it for granted now. The next evolution is likely to be just as rapid, and just as thoroughgoing.

The efficiency of sorting through the second-phase considerations in a home search with walking tours that require no travel at all is hard to ignore. And given the Millennials’ familiarity and adept handling of technology, it makes sense to expect that they will require a high-quality VR or AR experience when Millennials search for a home.

It’s our profession and our passion to know the market for Atlanta real estate, and that means knowing the persons who influence it today and for the future. Engel & Völkers is the Atlanta leader in the sale of residential real estate and new developments. Just call us at 404.845.7724 or find out more at