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Zillow: Millennials increase role in housing market

Now buying starter homes as big as traditional move-up buyers

A new survey from Zillow shows the importance of Millennials in the housing market. This new generation may not only be fueling the housing market, but also changing it, according to the survey.

The 160-question survey gathered information from a total of 13,249 consumers, including 3,003 buyers, 3,003 sellers, 3,082 homeowners, 3,000 renters and 1,161 long-term renters. Zillow weighted the survey group first, so it matched the U.S. population on age, gender, income, ethnicity and region.

“Young home buyers and sellers share their grandparents’ romantic notions about homeownership, and we’re finally seeing their home buying dreams come true in the data,” Zillow Chief Marketing Officer Jeremy Wacksman said. “These savvy consumers are doing things differently: they juggle shopping for homes to buy and rent at the same time, and they bring deep research and their vast social networks to the process.”

Millennials make up over half of today’s homebuyers and are bringing a savvier, deeply researched approach that is unlike any past generation, according to the survey.

“We knew the Millennial generation was playing an increasingly large role in the housing market,” Zillow Chief Economist Svenja Gudell said. “But this consumer research allows us to get a fascinating, behind-the-scenes look at how their expectations and approach are playing out in the housing market.”

“These young adults came of age during a recession, but they are buying their first homes in a high-priced and fast-paced market,” Gudell said. “They’re using every available resource, including online research and real estate professionals, and taking on the challenge with gusto.”

While this generation is waiting longer to buy a home than previous generations, there is one significant difference. The modern day starter home is nearly as large as the median home for move-up buyers and costs about 18% less.

What’s more, the younger buyers don’t have as high of expectations about their Realtor getting back to them. About 52% of the Silent Generation buyers expect agents to get back with them within a few hours, compared to 47% of Baby Boomers, 40% of Gen Xers and 40% of Millennials.

This infographic from Endeavor America Loan Services, a mortgage company based in Walnut Creek, California, shows what the home buying Millennials look like.

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