January 10, 2020

Everything old is new again

As the holidays finally fade into the rearview mirror, it’s time to take a look at the changes coming in buying and selling homes in 2020.

Analysts are hyping a so-called “silver tsunami” of baby boomers downsizing by selling their mid-size to larger homes over the next decade. Estimates say more than 900,000 such homes could come on the market every year until 2027.

More than 75 percent of Millennials say they would prefer to own a home, but many don’t see ownership as a viable financial opportunity.

For those between the ages of 25 and 40, stagnant wages and student loans can make it difficult to save up enough to make an initial down payment.

Add that to the fact that limited supply has pushed housing prices near all-time highs, and homeownership can seem even more daunting.

But all is not lost. Most Millennials still have strong misconceptions about the credit scores and down payment needed, keeping them out of the homeownership game longer than necessary.

They don’t know there are many federal and state low-down payment programs allowing down payments as low as 3 percent, or that a loan applicant's entire financial picture - including income, assets and debt-to-income ratio, credit history are all also part of the equation.

Studies show younger consumers are a surprisingly responsible group, and those with student loans no worse at managing their debt than people without it.

And studies show they’re finding ways to buy. Since 2014, the millennial share of home purchases has risen from 30 to 37 percent.

In order to market to them, it’s important to try to understand them as they lean toward homeownership.

Once known for clinging to the idea of living downtown, they are now flipping the script and trying to bring the downtown out to where they live.

The term “hipsterbia” refers to smaller, suburban communities with more access to shopping, dining and entertainment options.

Developers are taking notice, transforming buildable land into condo and townhome communities featuring beautiful parks and fountains, as well as shops, gallerias and upscale bars.

And another influx of homes could be coming soon.

These age-based cultural differences are becoming increasingly integral to the home lending and real estate industries. Learning to sell them in a language millennial consumers understand is key to the ongoing recovery of the housing market.