Millennials buy homes online and through social media
Some millennials are finally making the leap into homeownership – and many are doing so without seeing the homes in person first.
These first-time buyers are making more and more offers on the houses they have bought online, reported Debra Kamin of the New York Times. The trend is the result of a combination of factors, Kamin wrote: it’s social distancing, an easier and less time-consuming process for those buying a home in an area they don’t currently reside in, and a way to move fast in a cut-throat period when houses are flying off the market.
Finding a home online is also second nature to a generation that grew up with the Internet.
“Millennials are a more digitally savvy generation,” Sarah Pierce, operations manager at Better Mortgage, told Kamin. “When they come to our house, they looked for a house on Zillow, they looked for mortgage rates on Google. They don’t go to their local store for a loan on Main Street.”
In one recent Clever Real Estate survey, 44% of millennials said they would buy a home based solely on the photos on the listing. And nearly 80% said they could be persuaded to buy a house on sight under certain conditions, such as if it was a newly built house or if they had someone to inspect the house in advance. their name.
Zillow and Redfin both told Kamin that they have seen traffic increase exponentially to 3D visits to their websites during the pandemic. Likewise, Rocket Mortgage, QuickenLoans, and LoanDepot also told Kamin that they saw increased traffic as buyers turned to the internet to complete the home buying process, from loan application to home. finalization of agreements.
Millennials also buy via Instagram
But millennials don’t just check real estate and mortgage websites, they search social media for homes as well.
Millennials made offers on the fixer rods featured on the Instagram account Cheap old houses, which showcases historic homes that cost no more than $ 100,000 to buy, New York Post’s Shayne Benowitz reported back in August. These “old houses” are usually found in small towns that have become attractive in the age of coronavirus and remote working.
When Insider’s Libertina Brandt interviewed the founder of Cheap Old Houses Elizabeth finkelstein at the start of the pandemic, the Instagram account had 750,000 subscribers. Today, it has 1.5 million.
Finkelstein told Benowitz that the account helps make homeownership more accessible to millennials, many of whom have plenty of free time during quarantine for restoration projects.
Millennials boost the real estate market
Online or not, millennials are heating up the housing market.
More millennials bought homes last year than any other generation, according to the home ownership report of the list of apartments. The pandemic had accelerated a five-year trend in which Millennial home ownership rates rose the fastest as the generation moved on to career advancement and buying a home. house in its thirties.
The millennial homeownership rate has climbed to 47.9%, from 40% just three years ago, according to the report. Families fleeing the big cities for the suburbs and historically low interest rates, which made it easier to buy for those who had enough money saved for a down payment, fueled the 2020 hike.
As millennials turn their home buying dreams into reality, they are digitizing the home search in the process.