Millennials Interested in Suburban Homes, After All

Why it's still single in the city, married in the suburbs.

By Dees Stribling, Contributing Editor

Washington D.C.—The notion that Millennials are going to eschew home buying as they get older may not be founded in fact. A new survey from the Collingwood Group shows 65 percent of the age group (aged 24-34) are “somewhat” to “very likely” to give up on certain things to finance a home purchase. Indeed, a majority of Millennials are willing to sacrifice the likes cell phones, cable and Starbucks to save for a down payment on a home.

Also, according to the survey, when it comes to financing their first homes, Millennials think more like their parents than is generally acknowledged. Close to 75 percent of the age group would be more comfortable applying for a mortgage with a traditional bank over an alternative lender.

And despite the generation’s Internet focus, they aren’t willing to pay more for a streamlined, online mortgage process. Interestingly, Millennials who have already gone through the mortgage application process are only slightly more inclined to pay more for a more streamlined process (23 percent vs. 21 percent).

The Colllingwood Group chairman Tim Rood notes that Millennials want to live in the city while they’re single, but want “white picket fences and yards when they are ready to buy. That’s critical, given the fear that Millennials will get hooked on urban conveniences and abandon the suburbs, leaving Baby Boomers and other downsizing households in the lurch.”

The Collingwood Group survey further questions perceptions that Millennials prefer city life, with close to 70 percent of those surveyed saying they’d prefer buying their first home in the suburbs, which is something that urban multifamily investors and developers might want to keep in mind.

The poll was conducted July 5-8, 2015, among a random group of 650 people.

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