There’s a lot of conflicting data out there about Millennials and their migratory habits. Depending on your Google search term, you can find articles that will either tell you that Millennials are moving to urban areas or that Millennials are moving to the suburbs. In each scenario, there is usually supporting data, and it makes wonder which source you should trust.
In early March, the National Association of Realtors released its annual “Home Buyer And Seller Generational Trends” report, and we may now have a clearer understanding of where Millennials are choosing to live. In fact, the association’s report found that more Millennials (defined as buyers and sellers age 35 and younger) are purchasing homes outside of urban areas. Here’s an excerpt from the report:
One consistent finding for the last four years of reports has been that buyers 36 years and younger (Millennials/Gen Yers) is the largest share of home buyers at 34 percent (down from 35 percent last year). Sixty-six percent of these buyers were also first-time home buyers. The largest cohort in America is growing up and becoming more traditional in their buying habits. This year’s report saw an increased share who purchased in suburban locations and who purchased detached single-family homes. Forty-nine percent of buyers 36 years and younger now have children under the age of 18 in their home, 66 percent are married couples, and 13 percent are unmarried couples (the largest share of all generations)
Is this consistent with what real estate agents see among millennial home buyers in Colorado? We decided to ask our network of more than 18,000 local real estate brokers and REALTORS® throughout Colorado to get their perspective on this recent NAR study. Here are the top responses we received:
Yes, Millennials in Colorado are moving to the Suburbs
“I am seeing Millennials moving to the Suburbs. Light rail is much more important to Millennials than other generations. Millennials also seem to want to purchase a home that is in a convenient location to their job. It’s often not far from where they are already living. Inventory is low all through out the metro area no matter if you are looking down town or the suburbs. I do see Millennials more willing to drive farther even to Bennett, Brighton and Elizabeth to find an affordable home.”
RE/MAX Unlimited Inc.
Millennials want Access
“Light rail has been a big factor. Many buyers I’ve worked with looking to the southwest JeffCo area, especially downtown Littleton, Southwest Plaza, & even west to Ken Caryl. They can find much more home (and yard for some) for the money while still close to all shopping & amenities. Most are staying within reach of major highways, for access to work, downtown and mountains.”
Remodeled and Updated
“We are definitely seeing more Millennial homebuyers moving to the ‘burbs’ in Colorado. These savvy buyers tend to prefer completely remodeled homes with fresh paint, open floor plans, slab granite countertops, stainless appliances and wood floors. This active generation tends to prefer anywhere along the light rail line or in the neighborhood pockets that are walking distance to great coffee shops, restaurants and shopping. Lower prices and lack of inventory has definitely been a factor in this trend, however, as smart investors, Millennials are seeing almost instant equity in Colorado’s real estate boom.”
No, Millennials in Colorado are NOT moving to the Suburbs:
“No, I see Millennials wanting to be in all of the hot urban neighborhoods. Sunnyside, Berkeley and Whittier are the main 3 that I see this segment searching in. Millennials with children are still seeking this city lifestyle, but I also see them wanting to be close to work.”
Family is a Factor
“I work in the city of Denver mostly, and I don’t see a trend of them moving to the suburbs unless they have children. Many of them still want to be in the mix of the city and the schools continue to improve. If you consider Stapleton the suburbs, that is one area I do see them moving too because they like new homes.”
Cherry Creek Properties LLC
Hip and Cool vs. Available and Affordable
“In the Denver Metro, Millennials are buying wherever they can find an available, affordable home. It’s been my experience there’s actually a preference for ‘cool’ neighborhoods in/near downtown with high walk scores, but they just can’t afford them.”
Your Castle Real Estate
Looks like the jury is still out on this question. Based on the responses from Colorado real estate agents, slightly more experts said that Millennials are, in fact, moving to the suburbs—but it was very close! Thank you to all the brokers that responded with their wisdom and expertise!
Photo courtesy of huffingtonpost.ca
Originally published April 5, 2016 — Updated August 15, 2017