As millennials’ influence in the housing market becomes more noticeable, the unique features and trends that they are seeking in prospective homes have become clearer. Like previous generations, millennials want homes that reflect their taste, lifestyle and needs, and these preferences have manifested themselves in a desire for three key housing features.
Open Floor Plans
Millennials value homes with fewer defined spaces, walls and partitions and a more open floor plan that integrates the kitchen with the family room. This type of floor plan makes socializing easier and allows the creation of multipurpose areas, both of which are important to millennials according to the National Association of Realtors. Because millennials tend to be budget-conscious, members of this generation prefer smaller homes with the versatility provided by an open floor plan over larger defined floor plans with rarely used spaces like formal dining rooms.
Natural Materials Combined With High-Tech Features
Recent displays at Las Vegas’ International Builders Show reveal a pair of design trends that millennials love but that may at first appear contradictory: rustic natural materials combined with state-of-the-art technological features. In what the Washington Post terms “rustic-tech chic,” this generation appreciates the use of elements like reclaimed wood, hand-baked tiles and stone in conjunction with modern lines and smart-home technology like hidden USB ports, steam-activated bathroom exhaust fans and embedded wireless speakers.
Because millennials are often budget-conscious, they tend to look for energy-efficient homes that offer lower monthly utility bills. Millennials are also more willing than previous generations to look at smaller homes in order to avoid paying for cooling and heating in rarely-used rooms. Many new homebuilders are seeking to appeal to younger millennial buyers by including energy-efficient appliances in their design of new homes.
As a recent New York Times article noted, millennials are increasingly tiring of renting small apartments in major urban centers and are joining the generations before them in moving to the suburbs to start families. If this trend continues, the effect that millennials are having on the real estate market will only increase.