Millennials will continue to be dominant participants in housing markets for decades to come. (Photo: Shutterstock).

Sean McIllwain, MOD Boulder Real Estate

Sean McIllwain, MOD Boulder Real Estate

With the post-COVID real estate market skyrocketing into the stratosphere and the inter-generational friction between Boomers, Gen Xers, millennials and Gen Zers growing by the headline, the competition for real estate just got even fiercer: the newest generation to enter the real estate market is the millennials.

In 2021, about 4.8 million millennials are turning 30, and many are expected to enter the real estate market. At the opposite end of the generation’s span, the oldest millennials are turning 40 this year, and they’re ready for more space for their growing families – think bigger garages, more bathrooms and upgraded kitchens. For the past decade, the sharing-economy generation has shunned traditional ownership values – but lately, they’ve been shifting their point of view on housing. Here’s why.

The socioeconomic combination of solid career-building, significant investment gains, and rock-bottom interest rates have turned dubious, rent-happy millennials into eager homeowners. And while this may be one of the most competitive times in history to be on the search for a house, millennials are a savvy bunch – they’re not skittish about the urgent effort required in today’s real estate market.

This generation is chasing the American dream with a passion, and they’re not retreating anytime soon. Many millennials have been on the real-estate hunt for over a year now, encountering multiple offers and bidding wars. As they’re entering this next stage of life, they’re growing increasingly aware of the benefits that homeownership offers, like building equity and investing for the long term.

With millennials’ resilience and battle-ready stance, their real-estate fervor is reshaping the market for years to come. Barring a housing bubble – which, because of stabler economic circumstances, doesn’t seem likely this time around – new base-level price points are trending higher and higher. Additionally, we’re seeing millennials leave larger cities and heading west and south, with the Denver Metro area as one of the top destinations.

While the average millennial wants a house with a nice backyard in a desirable, quiet location, they’re more open to multi-family options like condos and quadraplexes. Good schools and attractions nearby are also common wishlist items. And millennials aren’t afraid to plunk down their cash – current economic trends show that if they’ve got the money, they’ll spend it. New homebuilders are seeing this group of buyers drop the extra cash for luxury upgrades. (Hello, Sub-Zero appliance suite.)

Considering these trends, it’s clear that millennials are a generation who can quickly – and competitively – adapt to a changing world. They know what they want and they’re willing to fight for it. With this type of internal fortitude, millennials will continue to be dominant participants in housing markets for decades to come. Hey Gen Z, you’re up next: it’s time to show us what kind of real-estate chops you’ve got.

By Sean McIllwain. Sean is the founding broker of Mod Boulder Real Estate. Call 720.252.6051, e-mail [email protected] or visit