Preferring to rent rather than buy, millennials have long embraced the badge of being the generation that shied away from homeownership. New insights from property experts, however, reveal that this reality is changing, interestingly in the midst of a pandemic.
According to industry leaders who graced the recently concluded Lamudi virtual discussion, On the Horizon: Real Estate Leaders on Market Recovery, millennials are actually hitting the property market and pushing through with purchase decisions.
Emma Imperial, Group Chair and CEO at Imperial Homes Group of Companies, said that millennials make up 65 percent of their buyers during the lockdown. Meanwhile, Raphael Felix, President and CEO of Phinma Properties, revealed that their 20 to 30-year-old market segment has doubled in the last three months.
Given these insights, it’s safe to say that the Gen Ys are no longer on rent mode, and have, in fact, crossed over to homeownership.
Why They’re Buying Now
A few things may explain the sudden surge of home buying interest among millennials. Generally speaking, owning a house caters better to new normal needs than renting. Here’s a rundown of the factors that have contributed to the Gen Y’s change of heart:
- New financial priorities. With little to no outlet for retail or leisure splurges given the travel restrictions and community quarantine measures, it’s likely that the market segment has decided to redirect their finances to long-term investments, such as housing. Staying at home for long periods, they’ve started to reflect more on the ideal space they need and want.
- Better deals. It also helped that the industry has made it easier for people to realize homeownership. Property developers are offering good promos. Some have reduced prices by 15 to 20 percent, while others have provided stretched terms on down payment, while allowing buyers to move in before completing the installment. Pag-IBIG has likewise lowered its interest rates to encourage borrowing. All of these help bolster the buying power of the millennial market.
- Remote-work-ready developments. As staying home became the new normal in the last few months, most Gen Ys have considered moving to a decent place, which they can call their own and would accommodate their lifestyle demands, most especially the work-from-home set-up.
What They’re Looking for
While the millennials are ready, willing shoppers, they’re not buying the first thing they see on the market. They’re discerning about what would likely be their first real estate investment. Here are some of the property features they’re looking for:
- Sustainability. Energy-efficiency is something Gen Ys are big fans of. It allows them to reduce carbon emissions and save money in the long run. At the most basic, they are on the lookout for homes that have solar panels. With most of life spent indoors now during this pandemic, consuming electricity for work, school, and household chores, a solar-powered home makes a big cut on energy expenses.
- Technology. As mentioned earlier, the desire to live in a remote-work-ready home is one of the reasons millennials have decided to shop in the property market. A stable internet connection is a must-have to support the demands of the work-from-home set-up, from constant teleconferencing meetings to regular uploads and downloads of documents.
- Convenience. Since professional responsibilities made its way home, there’s a demand for a residential space that takes away the hassle of personal obligations. In this regard, location plays a big role. Most millennials would want to move into integrated communities or at least near essential establishments to make errands to the bank, supermarket, or hospital less stressful. A convenient location lets them focus better on the most important work.
- Health and safety. Of course, this will be in the must-have list of aspiring homeowners today. But for Gen Ys, it’s a big consideration, given that they’re at the age when they’re having kids and growing the family, or on the flip side, caring for elderly parents. A home that features a lot of open space or is located in a sparsely-populated area emerges as an essential to let growing children and older folks experience leisure without worrying about physical distancing.
The millennials are buying properties now. Deviating from the long-held title “renting generation”, they’re taking the plunge into homeownership despite (or perhaps, because of) the pandemic. This is just one of the many key insights property experts brought to the table at the latest installment to Lamudi’s Roundtable Series. In case you missed it live, click here to watch the videos on-demand for the month of September.