Newspapers across the country published stories this week about the median age of first-time buyers rising. The New York Post and numerous other media outlets reported that the millennial generation, which includes adults ages 18-34, are renting for six years on average prior to purchasing their first homes. This is an increase of 2.6 years since the 1970’s.
Many cite rising housing costs as the reason for this trend in delayed homeownership. San Diego home prices and median rental rates are rising, but according to The San Diego Union-Tribune , this is due in part to an increase in high wage job growth. Housing costs play a role, but they may not be the only factor at work.
Millennials are delaying not only homeownership, but also marriage and parenthood. Financial security is a factor, but many millennials are postponing marriage, family planning and home purchases so they can graduate from college and focus on their careers. The New York Post reported that in 2010 the median age of the newlywed millennial man was 28½ and the newlywed millennial woman was turning 27. In 1960, those same newlyweds would’ve been 24 and 21 respectively.
The trend in delayed homeownership could be caused by any number of factors, but one thing remains true. The face of the first-time buyer is changing. According to The New York Post, he or she is 33-years-old, whereas a generation ago he or she had just turned thirty.
The Bottom Line
Millennials are delaying first-time home purchases, but they are still becoming homeowners once they settle down.
As the age of the median first-time buyer increases, so will the features he or she is looking for in a home. Sellers can increase interest in their La Jolla properties by emphasizing features that matter most to millennial first-time buyers. According to an article published on Bankrate, La Jolla sellers will want to showcase large, updated kitchens and home offices to appeal to millennial buyers. Licensed real estate agents that specialize in the La Jolla real estate market can help sellers highlight these attractive features.