Why are Millennials choosing location over square footage?


While it’s obvious that the design of houses in countries like the U.S., U.K., Australia, and other big countries will undergo significant changes in the coming decade, it’s also likely that these changes will be brought by fundamental demographic and economic changes instead of Star Wars-style technological innovations.

The aging population and the recovery from the last decade’s housing collapse are making it harder for younger households to get ahead in the housing market. These factors are gradually changing the future of home design. Here are some ways things have changed in recent times.

Millennial-Driven Housing Progress

Outdoor Living Became More Popular. Lifestyles have become more informal, and homes are reflecting this. Formal dining and living rooms are disappearing and being replaced by great dens, rooms, and open space layouts. With this movement to informality has come a growth in outdoor living. While initially, patios, decks and outdoor grills were the focus, this trend has expanded to outdoor-fixed kitchens and even completely furnished outdoor rooms.

Home Offices became more apparent due to changing work patterns. Company scale-backs during the recession forced some to moonlight or job hunt out of their homes. Moreover, technology advancements have made telecommuting a more desirable option for many workers. This resulted in home offices growing in popularity even though offices got smaller.

Residential projects were merged into mixed-use facilities. With the recession came the death of large suburban tract housing developments. In their place rose housing activities in smaller projects that are majorly tied to other commercial activities. This method often required higher-density development and provided added amenities for adjacent residents.

Technologically advanced kitchens and baths. The Great recession is also the period where technological innovation happened. Many clients complemented their traditional desktop computer with tablets, laptops, and smartphones. This created the need to provide advanced infrastructure within homes to support all these devices. Also, growing concerns about sustainability increased people’s demand for water and energy conservation tools, and developing technologies often assisted the administration of these systems in the home.

Millennials Evolved Preferences

One study found out that many Millennials are living in less centrally situated but more inexpensive neighborhoods, and sharing space with roommates or parents to save money. However, despite their present lifestyle limitations, most are positive about the future. The study’s key results included the following:

  • Only about 13 percent of Millennials live in or near downtowns; 63 percent live in the suburbs or other city neighborhoods.
  • 50 percent are renters, paying a median monthly rent of about $925.
  • Twenty-one percent live at home, however, 90 percent expect to move out within five years.
  • Practically all expect to own a home sooner or later.
  • Nine out of ten anticipate to match or surpass their parents’ economic circumstances.

Millennials truly are an intriguing combination of optimism and realism. While they still have high hopes of getting home loans and purchasing their own home over the long term, they are still having to temper their short-term expectations.

3 Responses to Why are Millennials choosing location over square footage?

  1. You’ve pretty much described me in one article!

  2. Millennial here – I would much rather have the location over the square footage too. I feel like I would much rather have a location near grocery stores, restaurants, shops, post offices, banks, etc. and I (and other Ms) are more willing to cut down square footage to accommodate our budgets.

  3. I totally agree. I regret buying a house out in the boonies. It takes at least 40 minutes to get into the city and I miss out on so much. Even going shopping is a half-day affair.

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