A detailed look at real estate data clearly shows that America’s millennials are more inclined to purchase condominiums or townhomes than older buyers. In some cities, the percentage is above 50%. The question is, why? What is driving millennials away from single family homes and toward condos?
Agents at Salt Lake City-based CityHome Collective say it’s not just one thing. There are a number of factors working together that affect the millennial mindset, especially in up-and-coming regions like the Salt Lake Valley. That mindset is a combination of pragmatism and a desire for perceived value.
According to KUTV, a study recently conducted in the Salt Lake Valley shows that 52% of millennials are much more likely than their parents or grandparents to choose a condo over single-family dwelling. One of the real estate agents interviewed by KUTV, who just happens to be a millennial as well, says it’s no longer abnormal for her younger clients to have their eye on condos. She says it is especially true among those coming from apartments.
Price a Big Factor
Real estate agents with an ear to the ground say that price is a significant factor. Millennials go into the home-buying experience with expectations of being able to buy a luxury home featuring everything they have ever wanted. When they discover they cannot afford it, they have to turn their attentions elsewhere.
For many, moderately priced condos give them more of what they want for their money than comparably priced single-family homes. So they are willing to sacrifice the benefits of living in a traditional house in order to get what they perceive as better value.
The Desire for Certain Amenities
Another factor is the desire for certain amenities. For example, data suggests that kitchens are particularly important to home buyers. And for millennials, something as simple as a granite countertop could mean the difference between a sale and moving on to something else.
The thing about millennials is that they are very clear about the amenities they want. And what they want are modern amenities like granite counters, new appliances, and so forth. Condos tend to offer those amenities at a price point lower than a luxury single-family dwelling.
The Convenience Factor
Not every millennial home-buying decision has to do with money or amenities. Convenience is a key factor too, especially among buyers who have already spent several years living in apartments. They are used to the convenience of not having to mow the lawn, trim the bushes, or deal with a broken-down furnace. They are used to someone else doing the routine maintenance.
Despite dreams of owning that perfect slice of paradise, the process of viewing houses tends to drive home the reality that purchasing a single-family dwelling also means taking on maintenance responsibilities. That’s enough for some millennials already on the edge with price to elect to go with a condo or townhome instead.
A Whole New World
It used to be that condos and townhomes were the domain of older buyers looking to downsize so they could enjoy their retirement years in smaller spaces not requiring as much care and maintenance. Those days are long gone. Seniors are still buying condos, but it turns out that millennials are buying them more often.
Millennials are finding themselves attracted to condos because they get more for the money, they can enjoy the convenience of letting someone else handle maintenance, and they don’t have to take out a mortgage they can’t afford to get the kinds of amenities they want. It is a whole new world.