According to Zillow, half of today’s homeowners are under the age of 36. As Millennials begin to outweigh the number of Baby Boomers in the housing market, it's becoming more vital to stay on top of current design trends and meet these new market demands.
Millennials won’t settle for a home until they find exactly what they’re looking for. With the internet available at fingertip’s reach, this generation of online investigators will sift through listings online and swipe away in a matter of seconds if it doesn’t immediately appeal to them.
Since 91% of millennials start their home-buying journey online (NAR), the quality of your images can directly determine a buying decision (check out our photography tips guide for more!). All thanks to the influence of the media and exposure to home design tv shows, they set off on the home buying process with a high set of expectations in mind and a compelling list of must-haves.
Smart Home Features
The impact of climate change stresses the importance of building sustainably to preserve the environment. Building with green products and technology has become a priority for millennial buyers looking for environmentally sustainable (& economically sound!) home features, such as energy efficient appliances, Energy Star windows, smart thermostats, and lighting control systems to save energy.
Eco-Friendly & Sustainable Design
In the United Kingdom, more homeowners are switching to new energy saving boilers. UK-based company HomeServe recommends new boilers as older models can be costly, especially if they constantly need to be repaired. Old boilers are also not environmentally friendly and use large amounts of energy. Modern boilers, such as combi-boilers, are designed to only heat water when needed which appeals to millennials who often have a tight budget.
In order to appeal to millennial homebuyers, sellers must make sure that the property is energy efficient. Renewable energy sources like solar panels can offset up to 30% of energy used in a home. This trend is becoming more popular in the U.S. By 2020, all newly constructed residential buildings in California must be outfitted with solar panels.
Elle Decor reports that one of the most popular trends in the U.S. is biophilia, which emphasizes the relationship between humans and nature. Many designers are now using organic materials to create homes and furniture. A home trend we love right now is a living wall.
Whether they live in the U.S. or Asia, Indoor greenery (even if it is faux) is another common thread that ties millennial homes together. House plants are great to look at and they fit the eco-friendly, healthy living lifestyle that millennials strive for. Millennials all over the globe are using succulents to add natural elements to their homes. Not only do they look simple, elegant and trendy, but they’re also low maintenance. In our list of Trends to Get Rid Of, we emphasize using fresh plants when staging a home (and not those old ficus trees that remind people of their grandmothers!).
Homeowners Want Move-in Ready!
Millennial buyers are not interested in fixer uppers as previous generations once were so passionate about. According to NAR, nearly half of millennials who bought newly-built homes did so to avoid major repairs and renovations.
The Comfort of Outdoor Living
In an age of technology take over, Millennials are seeking nature during their down time from work to disconnect from technology. According to NAR, 57% of millennials are buying in suburbs, followed by 16% in small towns and 15% in urban areas where there is more access to backyards, fresh air and outdoor recreation. Many millennials prefer suburban areas outside of major cities with established public transportation systems. However, they’re also looking to save on gas and protect the environment by avoiding long commutes.
Millennial buyers want both outdoor and indoor space as they lean towards open concept interior design particularly for the kitchen, dining, and living room areas. Away with cookie cutter layouts! Millennials want unique details made with high-quality, eco-friendly materials and are very insistent on value for money.
One of the hottest of today’s home buying trends is the transitional-style kitchen, which is a blend of traditional and modern kitchen style that represents the shift in emerging Millennial markets. Transitional kitchens often feature white-toned Shaker cabinets, kitchen island, engineered quartz countertops, and contemporary light fixtures.
Millennial homeowners also have more interest in opening their kitchens to the outdoors by installing large panel windows or converting an entire wall into one large door to achieve a cohesive open concept design.
Large windows is a trend that is currently popular in Sweden. Due to the lack of light in the country, Swedish homes often have floor to ceiling windows to get as much natural light in as possible. With more millennials embracing the Scandinavian concept of hygge, this style is becoming increasingly popular.
In line with the previous trend, large windows bring in more light, which saves on electricity costs while also bringing a new dynamic to rooms and the overall home’s aesthetic. They’re also good for millennials who want to invest in indoor plants that need regular sunlight to survive. To fully take advantage of the windows during a home staging ditch out-dated heavy paneled curtains for bare windows, simple panels, wooden blinds, or shutters.
According to the National Association of Home Builders, an astounding 91% of home buyers said laundry rooms are an essential. Rather than stumble over piles of laundry, Millennial home buyers prefer a space they can dedicate to laundry day and easily close off throughout the week!
As Millennials continue to shape the market with their home buying preferences, home staging designers have got to stay up to date on the ever shifting trends. As a Current Design Trends Expert™, you’ll learn which trends are hot right now and how to incorporate it into your home staging design work.
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