Top 10 Features Millennials Want—and Don’t Want

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At least four out of five millennial buyers prefer laundry rooms, hardwood front exteriors, patios and garage storage.  Conversely, they give a thumbs down to elevators, wine cellars and laminate countertops.

These were among the findings from a new study by the NAHB Economics team that focused on millennial home buying preferences.

The 2018 survey asked recent and prospective buyers to rate 175 different features on the following four-tier scale:

  • Essential: Unlikely to buy a home without feature
  • Desirable: Seriously influenced to buy home if included
  • Indifferent: Would not influence purchase decision
  • Do Not Want: Not likely to buy a home with feature

No. 1 is a laundry room, which 86% of millennials want. Other features on the top 10 list include a walk-in pantry, exterior lighting, a front porch and table space for eating.

Millennial preferences differed somewhat from baby boomers and seniors.  Unlike millennials, boomers did not include a walk-in pantry, front porch, table space for eating and double sink in their list of top 10 amenities.  Likewise, seniors omitted a hardwood front exterior, walk-in pantry, front porch and table space for eating from their 10 most wanted features.

Nearly half of millennials (47%) cited elevators as the feature that they are least likely to want, followed by cork flooring in the main living spaces (33%) and wine cellars (32%).

Millennials have also been shifting their preference of master and standard bedrooms over the years. In 2007, 80% preferred one full master bedroom suite plus three standard bedrooms and 20% desired two full master bedroom suites plus one standard bedroom.

By 2018, this 80-20 ratio dropped to 60% and 40%, respectively.

More details are available in the full study.



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5 replies

  1. The wording of the survey is interesting. I can’t think of anybody who would say that they want a “high-density” community. But I can think of lots of folks who would want the things that density makes possible. So folks might express a preference for a community with the following characteristics:
    Accessible / accessibility
    Active
    Affordable (shared infratructure)
    Artistic
    Bicycle-friendly
    Community
    Convenient / convenience
    Cooperative
    Cozy
    Economical (shared infrastructure)
    Educational
    Efficient (shared infrastructure, minimal travel required)
    Innovative
    Interesting
    Lively
    Livable
    Neighborly / neighborliness
    Pedestrian-oriented
    Productive
    Proximity
    Quick and Easy
    Renovated
    Safe
    Shared
    Smart
    Spontaneous
    Vibrant
    Vital / Vitality
    Walkable

  2. This post captures only a small portion of the of the information in the 12-page survey questionnaire and 300-page “What Home Buyers Really Want” publication (available from BuilderBooks.com) based on it.

    In the survey, high density is defined as a community with “smaller lots and attached or multifamily buildings.”

    The survey lists a number of other community features, including
    Access to public transportation
    Walking/jogging trails
    Designated bike lanes
    BikeShare/CarShare services
    Infill (in the center of an older, established neighborhood)
    Near retail space (grocery, drug stores etc.)
    Walkable community (with walkways connecting homes, shopping, and public spaces and transportation)

    Homebuyer reaction to many of these items was on balance quite positive (although not positive enough to crack the top 10 list of most desirable features).
    Readers interested in seeing preferences for community & other home features in more detail are referred to the full “What Home Buyers Really Want” publication.

    • I sure hope the millennials are ready to pay for this kind of home they want! In today’s world you gave to work over 40 hours a week to make ends meet and have 2 checks coming in! And that’s not including all your bills. If they want a house according to their specifications like mentioned, it’s costly. They don’t want to work beyond 40 hours and want weekends off. Ect…. wake up and smell the coffee because you will be smelling a lot of it my dears! You’ll find out fast!!!

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