Top drawcards for millennial buyers

2016-04-28 06:00
Millenials are fast becoming the majority of home buyers.

Millenials are fast becoming the majority of home buyers.

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WITH the oldest Millennials now moving into their thirties, their generation is becoming an increasingly dominant force in the real estate market - and especially so in developing countries like South Africa where the 16 to 35 age group makes up a large percentage of the total population.

This is according to Berry Everitt, group CEO of Chas Everitt International, who says most buyers in this generation are, of course, first-timers right now, and may be forced to compromise on a few items for financial reasons - at least until they buy their second or third homes.

“But according to a 2015 study of generational housing trends by the US National Association of Realtors, there are certain other home features that are literally dealmakers or breakers for Millennials, and that those who are trying to sell them a property should bear in mind.”

Everitt says these features include:

Open-plan living

This refers to an open-plan living area anchored by a large kitchen with space for a dining table and a separate scullery or laundry.

“Once they become homeowners, Millennials­ tend to eat in and entertain at home much more, and want their family and friends to be able to keep them company in the kitchen if they are cooking,” he says.

“They also want this dining space to flow freely into the living or television room if that is where they are entertaining, but on the other hand, prefer a separate utilities room where the dirty dishes and laundry are not permanently in view.”

Separate home office

Also known as the “gig” generation, Everitt says Millennials are increasingly finding their next freelance contract online or running internet-based businesses that mean they never have to leave home to work.

“However, they do like to have a dedicated space where they can focus on work, so a room that can be permanently set up as a home office is a must for many such buyers.”

Good connections

Everitt says the tech-savvy and über-connected Millennial buyer is very unlikely to choose a home that does not have excellent cell phone coverage and access to a broadband internet service, or preferably Wi-Fi coverage and a fibre-optic connection.

Low maintenance

“Even though they may be home most of the time, most Millennials are loathe to spend their time making repairs or doing maintenance chores, so they are always going to prefer properties with long-lasting finishes such as tile floors, granite countertops and aluminium window frames,” says Everitt.

Low levies

Like all young buyers, Everitt says Millennials often have to stretch themselves financially to be able to afford their monthly bond repayments.

“So naturally they will tend to avoid complexes and estates with high monthly levies - even if the security provisions and facilities are excellent,” he says.

“Similarly, they will seldom have the budget flexibility to cope with any special levies, so are likely to be very particular about checking the financials before buying into any communal housing scheme. Sellers should be prepared for this and have all the relevant paperwork at hand.” - Supplied.

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