How Millennials are Redefining the Housing Market

As Millennials (individuals born between 1980 - 2000), grow up and start their lives independently of their parents, what they want and expect from a home differs greatly from the generation before them. Millennials, also known as Gen Y, are settling down later in life, thus entering the housing market with more maturity, sophistication, and education.  They know what they want when it comes to purchasing a house and making it a home, and, they aren't afraid to wait for it.  In turn, the housing market is being molded to meet the needs of this generation, who makes up the majority of today's home buyers.

Key Features


As a generation that grew up in the age of environmentalism, it is no surprise that Millenials look for eco-friendly features when it comes to buying a home. These features range from Energy Star appliances, to quality windows and insulation, to sustainable building materials, Not only is it important that the homes be eco-friendly for environmental benefits, but running an efficeint home equals lower utility bills. With housing prices steadily going up, cutting costs wherever they can is important. Having a 'green' home is a point of pride for many young buyers.


With smartphones in the palm of practically every Millennial's hand, let me correct myself,,, with smartphones in the plam of every Millennial's hand, houses equipped with smart technology are also on the 'want' list for this generation. From lighting, to security, to automated blinds and shutters, Millennials love to be able to manage and control their homes using apps on their phones. The future is now.


Condos are also popular among Millennials who are just dipping their toe into the market. They can be affordable and are often built in urban areas with tons of amenities (shopping, restaurants, parks, transit, medical centres, etc). Walkability is becoming more,and more important as millenials are sizing up their wants in relation to their needs as independents. Despite the idea that Millenials prefer to settle in urban settings over the suburbs, the reality is that the majority of millennial home buyers aren't that different from their former generations. According to a Consumer Insights report 84 per cent of Millenials want a single-family detached home, and surprisingly the majority prefers the suburbs. Open concept floor plans and, large backyards are also high on the desired list for homes.

Waiting and Saving

The competative job market, combined with the rise in housing prices, has more or less forced Millennials to wait a bit longer to enter the real estate market. This means young people are living with parents longer, or renting in groups in order to save up enough money for a down payment. This isn't necessarily a bad thing as they enter the market wiser, with more life experience and knowledge. 

Because they've patiently waited and saved for so long, Millennials are more inclined to spend time researching prior to purchasing. They have been raised in the tech savvy era, and mainly conduct their search for homes online where they can compare prices, neighbourhoods, and cities by simply swiping and clicking.

Shaping the Future Market

The Millennial impact will encourage the building industry to focus on both quality and quantity. With single family homes as the desired home type for this generation, builders will need to increase supply to keep up with demand. With the energy efficiency importance stressed by Millennials, it is also likely to keep improving, which is beneficial for everyone's pocket, and conscience. 

Because of the short supply of single-family dwellings, we will also see a shift towards condo living. Condos can be suitable for singles, couples, and even families as units are now being designed to accomodate a full size family. For Millenials who have children, they don't necessarily have to move due to better floor designs and increased storage space. 

In Closing

As Millennials dominate the marketplace, sellers have to keep up if they want to sell for top dollar. This means sellers may have to renovate current floor plans, upgrade appliances, and add new technology to create a smart home. Gone are the days of selling your home 'as is'.