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Millennials Are Fleeing the City for a Taste of the Suburbs

Millennial home buyers are no doubt a big driving force in today’s real estate market. Eighteen to 34-year-olds make up the largest group of all home buyers, with some experts predicting that they could purchase one out of every three homes this year. So it’s a safe bet you’ll be working with many clients in this age group. While the common assumption is that Millennials only want to live in the city, the data tells a different story entirely. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, more Millennials are moving out of the city and into the suburbs than the other way around.

Aging out of city living

While the youngest Millennials are and will continue to flock to cities for a taste of urban life, most—66%—want to eventually make their way to the suburbs and invest in a big, single-family home, according to the American Community Survey.

The reason for the trek into the ‘burbs is no different than past generations. While this group generally has put off marriage and children longer than their parents and grandparents, as they do get married and begin to have children, they need more indoor and outdoor space, better schools, and an overall safer, more family-friendly area to raise their broods.

Being in the midst of everything begins to lose its luster when they’re living in cramped apartments, condos, and even townhouses. As more Millennials get married and have children, the exodus into nearby suburbs will continue.

Upgrading is now financially doable for Millennials

Many of the 30-something Millennials have reached the point where they can actually afford to stop renting and buy their first homes. While some will opt for properties in the city, others will navigate to the outlying neighborhoods because they can get more bang for their buck outside of the city limits. Land, extra square footage, interior upgrades, school districts, and family-friendly amenities will become higher priorities than being in the center of it all.

Changing suburbs meet urban needs

Developers and communities are making it easier for Millennials to transition to suburban life. Investments in public transit, public parks, and town centers that offer a “Main Street” feel—complete with restaurants, shops, and entertainment—is a big draw to buyers who are used to having everything within walking distance.

As more Millennials begin to settle down, suburban areas will continue to experience an influx of young, perhaps first-time, buyers. Make sure that you are ready to handle this unique group of clients.

To learn more about Millennials and real estate, check out our new course: Millennials Are Changing Real Estate: Are You Ready? Visit McKissock.com for more real estate continuing education opportunities.