75M Millennials Are About to Shape the Future of Real Estate

Bob Dylan was so right: the times, they are a-changin’. And the residential real estate market is being swept right along.

While in Dylan’s day it was about the group known as baby boomers, it’s now about the millennials-more than 75 million of them. According to the most recent census, millennials now represent more than 25 percent of the population and 32 percent of potential home buyers.

That means that many of you reading this are or soon will be looking for somewhere to live. Your impact is inescapable, and here’s the upshot to date:

Studies in recent years, including one by the Pew Institute in 2013, show that a sizable proportion of 18-to-34-year-olds are still living at home. Another trend is adult children and their parents looking for accommodations together for cost-saving reasons, a recent National Association of Realtors® survey found.

But not everyone is concerned for millennials: Jonathon Smoke, chief economist of Realtor.com, is bullish on them. He reports that in summer 2015, millennials made up 30 percent of buyers, many of whom cited family changes (marriage, kids) as their reasons for purchasing.

And while credit and student debt remain concerns for potential millennial home buyers, give them time. Says Smoke: “They should represent two-thirds of all household formations over the next five years. Job creation will favor them. Their economic opportunities are strong. And they’re planning to start families, which increases the desire to purchase a home. They’re just getting started, and their sheer size will drive activity in housing for decades.”