Millennial home buyers are a new breed, and data from a recent Pardee Homes and BUILDER survey, conducted by Ketchum Global Research & Analytics, has intriguing findings to back that up. The results are particularly timely as Pardee Homes, a member of TRI Pointe Group breaks ground on the Responsive Home with BUILDER, Anderson Baron landscape architects, Bassenian Lagoni architects, and creative director Bobby Berk.
Ketchum's survey of 503 people ages 25 to 34 included 203 current homeowners and 300 individuals who plan to buy a house within 12 months. Among the survey's chief findings are the age group’s interest in maximizing space and affordability while maintaining a level of community found in urban environments, and capitalizing on opportunities to customize and personalize their homes. Here's a look at how some of the Responsive Home's features will address these interests and inspire more builders to do the same for this large, growing group of home buyers:
Preference: Urban-Suburban Environment More than half of survey respondents (53%) are eager for a suburban lifestyle, and millennials are four times more likely to opt for more space over living in a populated community. That said, urban benefits of being within walking distance to parks, grocery stores, schools, and work were high priorities for respondents.
Solution: Ideal Location: The Responsive Home is being built in the Inspirada community of Henderson, Nev. Homeowners will be able to take advantage of community amenities and will have a grocery store, coffee shop, pharmacy, bank, dry cleaner, restaurants, and more within walking distance of the Responsive Home.
Preference: Outdoor Space Trumping both financial and emotional readiness for homeownership, millennials named "desire to have outdoor space" the most important reason to purchase a home.
Solution: Patios & Parks In addition to parks, swimming pools, and trails throughout the Inspirada community, Responsive Home residents will enjoy an abundance of private outdoor living space. Natural light also will be an important element in the homes' designs, including areas where indoor and outdoor living will merge.
Preference: Space—and Extra Space Millennial homeowners are mostly focusing on purchasing a home as their primary residence; only 25% said they were likely to use their entire home or part of their home as a rental property. That said, millennials are a demographic that’s dealing with more diverse living situations than previous generations. While many millennials will choose to start families, we also know from Census data that single-adult households are on the rise. Meanwhile, millennials' retiring parents could add another twist to the question of household composition—especially if those grandchildren come along. So, while rental opportunities may not be essential, millennials are looking for flexible living spaces, and 71% say the ability to customize a new home is somewhat or very important. What kind of flexibility are they looking for? Nearly 4 out of 5 respondents (78%) said a children's play space was important or a must-have in their home design, and 74% said the same when asked about having a separate living suite. Other flex spaces, including finished basements and office areas, also ranked high in importance, but more respondents were willing to compromise on those spaces.
Solution: Add a Wall, Add a Room It's this area of specialization that helps give the Responsive Home its name. Both homes will feature adaptable floor plans with a level of flexibility that other new homes can't offer. As household composition shifts from adult roommates to young families to multigenerational living, Responsive Home residents will be able to achieve maximum functionality with only minimal home modifications—in some cases adding one wall will finish off an entire additional room of the house. The design truly will be able to respond to its owners' needs.
Preference: Financial Flexibility For its survey, Ketchum spoke with millennials reporting a household income of at least $60,000. A full 75% of respondents said they're looking to purchase a home because they're tired of renting, and 84% said they feel "financially ready" to purchase a home. The same amount said they're interesting building personal financial equity through a home purchase. In order to achieve the level of flexibility and location amenities they're looking for, millennial home buyers plan to spend about a fifth of their budgets on renovations and customizations.
Solution: Adaptable Meets Affordable Unlike the multimillion-dollar concept homes we've seen in years past, the two Responsive Home concept designs will fall much more in line with current national average home size and price ranges. The positioning will allow even those home buyers on the younger end of the millennial spectrum to enter the world of homeownership with a new home, rather than purchasing an existing home. Furthermore, as their purchasing power grows, those homeowners will be able to affordably adapt their home to changing living situations over time.