One of the keys to success in real estate is adapting to changes in the housing market. The earlier you can perceive new trends, the better. An important part of anticipating changes is understanding how the next generation of homebuyers differs from the current one. What is their financial situation? Where are the jobs they are taking? And most importantly, what is it that they want out of a home?
Millennials are looking to cities
Educated young professionals are less likely to yearn for the suburban existence than their parents and grandparents. Many are willing to forfeit the white picket fence and the big yard in exchange for living within walking distance of city life, including restaurants, parks, concerts, shops, museums and other cultural amenities.
People are tired of traffic
In many of the nation’s growing metropolitan areas, the traffic has gotten so bad that people are desperate for ways to reduce their daily commutes. For many people, living in a smaller and potentially more expensive urban dwelling is preferable to spending two hours a day staring through a windshield.
For many homebuyers, a long commute is not only a waste of time, but a waste of money. While homes tend to get cheaper as you get farther away from the urban core, the savings on housing costs are often eaten up by the increase in transportation costs. Owning a car is not cheap. According to AAA, it costs the average American nearly $9,000 a year to own and operate a car after accounting for car payments, gas and maintenance.
While millennials are hoping to raise families in cities, baby boomers are increasingly looking to urban dwellings because they no longer have to take care of families. With the kids out of the house, many married couples nearing retirement are looking to ditch the extra space and enjoy many of the benefits of the urban lifestyle that they forewent while raising children.
Depending on where you’re located, condos may also be a very enticing vacation option for out-of-towners, whether they’re seeking a beachside condo or a place to crash during a weekend in the city. And of course, the great part about working with customers who are in the market for vacation homes is that they often are likely to have a rolodex of contacts who are also prospective buyers.
It’s important as a real estate agent to avoid putting all of your eggs in one basket. There will be times when one part of the market in your area dries up while another sector heats up. Being able to present potential clients with an array of experiences will make you a much more compelling agent.