A new generation of Edmonton home buyers are looking for specific amenities including fresh interior designs and plenty of creative outdoor space. The millennial demographic – a group of young people born in a 20-year period spanning the early 1980s to early 2000s estimated to be about 90 million in North America. Not since the Baby Boomer generation has there been a group so large, influencing the real estate industry to such a great extent.
The millennial generation is touching off new trends in home buying and home design, although without hard and fast rules or notions about what’s right and what’s wrong. There are no strict boundaries between formal and informal but they are after things that real estate professionals need to understand when assisting this group of young people as they look for the right home, condo or townhome.
Whether looking to purchase property or just looking for new flooring, Millennials probably won’t seek out professional advice or go to a retailer or call up a real estate agent right off the bat. They’ll look for ideas, most often online. Then they’ll consult with their peers, sharing what they’ve found online looking for feedback. Only then will they make a decision about the next step. When they do take their choices to a professional, it only serves to validate what they’ve already made their mind up about.
Smaller Spaces, More Urban
When it comes to looking for a new home, location is where it’s at and more often than not, they want to be close to everything. They want services close by because they’re active. Home isn’t where they hunker down and “cocoon”, to borrow a phrase from the 90s. Home is like a launching pad for all of their other activities. They don’t mind the density of the city centre. They’re looking for a smaller place because of the cost. They tend to be more conservative with their money, often because they’re paying off student loans, they want to put a higher down payment together and they’ve watched their parents go through recessions and worry. They don’t max out credit cards, they don’t’ want to be more burdened by unecessary debt.
Fancy is Passé
Millennials aren’t caught up in details or embellishments. They don’t want all the extraneous things that make a property more expensive. Craftsmanship like crown mouldings, fancy woodwork – things that once were a sign of status aren’t important to this group. There’s little value in these types of details in a home.
Doing More in Less Space
Open concept interiors and multi-purpose space is where its at for Millennials. Fewer walls, more space to socialize in with less formality is attractive. Bedrooms that are offices, a hammock in the living room are common themes.
Fewer Things to Maintain
Millennials tend to be at work longer and out socializing more. They have plenty of outside interests and they have less time or desire to look after their home. They’re looking for carefree interiors like engineered hardwood, ventless fireplaces and often don’t have bookcases that require dusting because they’re on a tablet when they read.
Lots of Technology and Green Features
Wireless capacity is big among this group. Not only mobile devices such as phones and tablets but home technology. They want to control their home environment remotely, changing the heating, lights and security with their phones. Green features like low e-glass, energy efficient appliances, low-VOC paints and natural materials such as bamboo are also in demand.
Limited Outdoor Space
Millennials still want to spend outside but not so much at home. They want outdoor space as long as it doesn’t require much maintenance. A small balcony is ok. A modest terrace with very few plants. They are more likely to share space such as a community garden or an outdoor party space in a condo building is something that’s more attractive. They’d rather bring the outdoors in with large floor-to-ceiling windows, glass walls and large doors that open onto a smaller outdoor space.
At the end of the day, this group of home buyers is less inclined to view their Edmonton home as a symbol of their societal status or even as an investment that’s going to serve them well in the long-term. It’s more about now – about living for the moment and enjoying life to the fullest.