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Catherine Colbert

Architects Prepare for Spike in Millennial Home Buyers

by Catherine Colbert | Dun & Bradstreet Editor

December 14, 2016 | No Comments »

Looks like millennials are preparing to plant some serious roots.

The US residential real estate market is anticipating a wave of first-time home buyers in 2017, more than half of which are expected to be millennials.

According to Realtor.com, which recently polled people actively researching homes and intending to buy in either the spring or summer of 2017, 52% of home buyers will be first-timers, up significantly from 33% in 2016.

After sitting on the sidelines in 2016, more young Americans are better prepared financially to take a leap of faith into home ownership. As a result, home buyers younger than 35 are poised to steer the residential real estate market, drive demand for certain neighborhoods, and dictate the lifestyle features that are incorporated into home design.

The nation’s architectural and engineering services industry is taking note. According to First Research, the US industry includes about 108,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multilocation companies) with combined annual revenue of about $280 billion.

Millennials are focused on homes that offer safety, privacy, and lots of elbow room inside and out. This group of buyers prefers single-family homes (39%) or townhomes (34%) as opposed to multifamily homes (15%) and condos (10%).

Also, young buyers will continue to compete head to head with boomers for single-family homes as older Americans downsize. Competition for more affordable areas such as the suburbs is expected to keep prices high in hot markets.

Industry Impact — To win residential business, architectural and engineering services firms will want to focus on incorporating designs and construction methods to accommodate the millennial generation’s preferences for safety, privacy, and open-concept living.


Tracking the moves of consumer products makers since 2003, Catherine Colbert is an industry researcher, writer, and blogger. Previously, she spent ample time in magazine publishing, technical writing, ad copywriting, medical writing, and marketing. Follow her on Twitter.

Photo by Kim Seng, used under a Creative Commons license.

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