When we think of the Millennial Generation we have a tendency to think of young college age adults, when in actuality they are roughly between the ages of 23 and 41. This generation has actually started to make its mark on the U.S. economy. Particularly due to growing up in a time when technology was rapidly evolving, millennials are innately in tune with tech trends and tend to challenge the status quo, a combination that continues to change the way we live and work like no generation before it.

Millennials have learned to innovate quickly, organize robust networks for political and economic gain, rewrite the rules and prepare for the unseen and the worst. They aren’t afraid to break barriers. As one of the most active generations in the U.S. housing market, this group is pushing the boundaries of home ownership. At about 80 million strong, millennials currently make up the largest share of homebuyers (43%) in the U.S.

Simply due to their numbers and eagerness to become homeowners, this cohort is quite literally shaping the next frontier of the home buying process. Once known as the “rent generation,” millennials have proven to be savvy buyers who are quite nimble in their quest to own real estate. In fact, I don’t think it’s a stretch to say they are the key to the overall health and stability of the current housing industry.

Large Appetite
Despite uncertain economic factors and soaring student loan debt, they still have quite the appetite to achieve the goal of homeownership. Our survey of 1,000 participants shows 26% of this group are likely to purchase a new home this year, compared to 12% of Gen X and 6% of baby boomers. These findings suggests that millennials will continue to drive the majority of housing demand, which has remained very strong throughout the pandemic period. They also lead the pack in terms of those likely to refinance at 32%, which is more than triple the 9% of baby boomers who were planning to refinance in 2022.
Sight Unseen
Due to the competitiveness of the housing market and other factors, buying sight unseen has significantly increased over the past few years. While it may not be the most desirable way to purchase a property, millennials don’t seem to be as deterred as their counterparts. Our survey found 23% would purchase a home without seeing it in person first. That leap of faith is not as welcomed for the older generations, as only 16% of Gen X and 5% of baby boomers would consider buying a home without seeing it first.
Digital Experiences
Over the years, this group’s influence has also helped to usher the homebuying process into new dimensions. The desire of lenders to provide a positive consumer experience for this tech-savvy generation led to acceleration in several areas. Capabilities like virtual tours, digital appraisal scheduling, virtual inspections, remote notary services and digital closings have all taken major steps forward during their tenure as the most formidable segment of buyers. While some of these solutions were leveraged in response to the pandemic, the opportunity to infuse more technology into the traditionally manual homebuying process is a win for borrowers of all ages.