Builders starting to cater to millennials
Millennials are increasingly entering the housing market as first-time buyers and are expected to lead the growth in new homebuyers too, the National Association of Home Builders reports from its analysis of Census data.
The overall homeownership rate of millennials is at 36 percent, which is the largest gains among all age groups in 2017, the Census data shows. Millennials are the nation’s largest demographic group, and more than 70 million are expected to enter the housing market over the next few years.
Homebuilders are responding by increasing the amount of entry-level homes they are building, according to the NAHB. But they note that rising construction costs and limited lot availability have created challenges to building smaller, single-family detached homes that are affordable to first-time buyers and yet still cost-effective for builders.
More townhomes may be the answer, builders say. The townhome sector plunged during the Great Recession, but it has steadily been on the rise since 2009. Townhouse construction was up 7 percent in 2017 over 2016, according to Census data.
Builders are also taking note of millennials’ preferences as they look to add inventory. Millennials desire a three-bedroom and two-bathroom home, outdoor space, flexible areas that can be used for multiple purposes, and more luxurious finishes, such as quartz countertops, the NAHB says of its surveys.