Dale Sorensen Real Estate, Inc

How Millennials are Changing the Real Estate Industry

by Debbie Caldwell 02/02/2020

Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay

Millennials enter 2020 as the second-largest home-buying demographic and are expected to hold sway over the residential real estate market.

Although Millennials trail Baby Boomers in total population — 71 million to 74.1 million — they have aged into the prime starter and second home years. Millennials are largely considered to be born between 1981 and 1996, placing them out of traditional college years on the younger end of the spectrum. Older millennials are more inclined to be settled into professions and looking to set down roots. Baby Boomers, by contrast, peaked at 78.8 million more than two decades ago. Their 54-72 age bracket means they have generally already purchased homes and are more inclined to be downsizing or settling in with little to no mortgage. In 2019, Millennials were a driving real estate force and are expected to remain the primary movers and shakers.

How Millennials are Changing Real Estate Industry

Over the last six years, Millennials have comprised more than one-third of homebuyers and posted a sizable 36 percent of purchases in 2018. Although these numbers would seem to indicate that Millennials are following similar life patterns as Baby Boomers and others, the economic and cultural landscape has changed their trajectory.

Unlike the Baby Boomer generation, Millennials have been swamped with massive student loan debt. This factor caused more of them to live with parents to pay down debt before pivoting to purchase a starter home. Such economic realities pitted even older Millennials competing with downsizing Baby Boomers over starter homes. That trend is expected to continue into 2020 with the younger side of the demographic now out of college. Real estate professionals can also expect many 20-somethings to put home-buying on hold for the next few years and emerge as first-time buyers as college debt becomes manageable.

Another unique facet of this generation’s home-buying inclinations will likely be the process of selecting and financing a property. Millennials grew up in the technology age and are often quite comfortable shopping for low-interest loans online. According to a National Association of Realtors report, approximately 81 percent of Millennials on the older end of the spectrum found their home through an app in 2019. The use of video walk-throughs and electronic mortgage buys are items real estate professionals and home-sellers may want to consider.

Key Considerations About Millennial Homebuyers

It may seem counterintuitive, given their online leanings, but Millennials have more personalized preferences. Many grew up in a culture of cooperation versus competition and expect a sense of friendly comradery. The notion that buying a home is strictly a business transaction is an almost foreign concept to this generation. Buying a home is a deeply personal life decision.

Along with personal business relations and online resources, real estate professionals and home-sellers would be well served to update starter and family homes with the latest technology. The powerful home-buying generation prefers living spaces that reflect the times. Smart technology and sustainable energy are attractive features. Space for a home office is also a strong selling point as more Millennials are opting to work from home.

Millennial home-buying growth is expected to continue its positive trend and this demographic could account for upwards of 40 percent of the residential market in 2020.

About the Author

Debbie Caldwell

When you first meet Debbie Harris-Caldwell, you are immediately drawn to her charming Welsh accent and the twinkle in her eye. The well-traveled transplant from Wales is quick to set you at ease and time spent with her promises to be time well spent.

Debbie has been a real estate agent for 40 years and takes great pride in her customer service skills. "I make myself available to my customers when they need me, whether it's on a Sunday Evening or after their long day at work. I make my schedule fit theirs. I also keep my customers updated on everything happening with their listings or purchase, I am their conduit for information." She has built a business following her key principles of clear communication, attention to detail, client advocacy, and comprehensive knowledge of the area. Debbie comes to every new transaction with positive energy, determination, a strong understanding of the currents driving the market, and the expertise that comes from a lifetime of experience. She knows the importance of marketing and whether a home is for sale for $200,000 or for $2 million, she always has professional photography done and creates a listing presentation that best shows off her customer's home.

Debbie joined Dale Sorensen Real Estate five years ago when the company was opening its Indialantic office. "I saw the marketing capabilities of this company and the caliber of the marketing materials and knew they were in a class by themselves. I'm able to take advantage of their exclusive relationships with Mayfair International and Leading RE of the World to best market my customer's listings. My customers love this. After all, we have a common goal in mind, to sell their home."

Debbie has been involved in two pet projects for many years. She is a Member of the Board of Directors for the Brevard Symphony Orchestra and serves on the committee to find a new home for the organization. She is also a member of the Coastal Poodle Rescue league.

She recently completed a trip to Paris and is planning her next trip to her native home of Wales. She is a doting grandmother of a two-year-old granddaughter. 

Although she sold over $5 million in real estate transactions in 2017, her proudest moment was when she received the DSRE award for her Community Service. "It's one of the reasons I love this company so much, they put a lot of value in giving back to the community."

When asked what makes a good day in her world of real estate, Debbie is quick to respond. "When I see my seller's smile at an offer or when I see that sparkle in a buyer's eyes when we've found the perfect home, that's a good day for me."

Debbie also finds great pride in the fact that nearly one-hundred percent of her business is by referral. "Honestly, I can't ask for better than that."