How millennials are driving the housing market in 2021, braving the pandemic?

Until a few years ago, the conventional wisdom was that millennials don’t really have a penchant for homebuying. With racy lifestyles, always on the move due to work commitments and chasing jobs across the globe, young professionals felt contended with the rental option as they were unwilling to tie themselves to a single location; until the pandemic upset their apple cart, for good though.

Yes, times have changed a lot post-pandemic and people have started putting a value on a lot of things, especially homeownership. Millennials who were holding back from homeownership before the pandemic, either due to work commitments or financial constraints, felt the acute need for a home of their own while staying at home for inordinately long periods of time.

A shift in mindset is starkly visible. Instead of renting a house and frequently changing homes, it is better to drop a down-payment and be the owner of a house while paying a monthly EMI, which in most cases equals the amount that millennials used to fork out as rent. This has altered their priorities and today millennials are gunning for bigger and luxurious homes rather than spending that money on vacations to exotic locales.

Millennials changing the housing market

With rock-bottom interest rates, stamp duty cuts and bigger aspirations, millennials including tech professionals, double-income young families, start-up founders and the like are going on serious house-hunting expeditions. They are leaving no stone unturned in grabbing the best pads that can offer them all the comforts of modern living. According to Square Yards research, 2BHK and 3BHK homes accounted for 35% and 32% of the search results from Oct to Dec 2020 and the trend has blossomed in 2021.

Since WFH has become the norm for most companies and the pandemic is going to stay for some years at least, millennials are going for bigger homes, allocating 30-50% of their monthly income as EMI and plan things accordingly. They prefer society accommodation that comes with a raft of conveniences including clubhouses, shopping facilities, gyms etc. Spacious homes that offer a huge balcony that can double up as a recreational zone, a mini garden and a retreat spot are the pluses millennials are looking for in homes. And it is this craving for housing that has led to a huge spike in residential real estate, with demand for mid-segment homes and high-end properties remaining consistent throughout the first quarter of 2021.

Tech-oriented house hunting

While house-hunting among millennials has taken a big leap post-pandemic, technology is playing a big part in helping this tech-savvy generation to scour homes, view properties and communicate with real estate agents. Online real estate portals that come with VR tours and 3D walkthroughs are enabling millennials to leap into homeownership without seeing the properties in person. This trend of homebuying, which is socially distanced, hassle-free and less time-consuming, has led to houses flying off the market.

Millennials-a force to look out for by realtors

The residential market is looking promising in 2021 and millennials are playing a stellar role in driving the market. Be it prime locales within the city or peripherals, tier II cities, or small towns, millennials are rushing for spaces that suit their needs. Real estate developers should make sure that they keep up with the expectations of this young brigade. Millennial buyers are scrutinizing the credibility, past track record of developers, construction stage and other social factors before making a move. Millennials are also taking into account the growth potential of the property and the location. Hence developers should keep a close eye on their preferences since they will shape the real estate market in the coming months.

On a concluding note, it is fair to say that millennials have bought more houses than any other generation in the past few months. Online or offline, this age bracket has accelerated the homeownership trend and is not cowed down by the pandemic. In fact, they have made prudent use of the opportunities at play and turned their homebuying dreams into reality.

Sumit Mondal Content Analyst at Square Yards
Sumit Mondal Content Analyst at Square Yards