Setting The Stage

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24 | Th e M Rep o RT Feature before closing the loan for fear of how it would affect their debt-to-income stats. "If they would have gotten married first, they would have pushed off their ability to purchase for quite a while until they were able to save up more money so that their debt-to-income ratios would have worked again," he said. A Savvier Shopper C larke's story is more than just a dem- onstration of the change in Gen Y's sensibilities about unmarried cohabitation. It also illustrates that many of today's young home shoppers are a bit savvier when it comes to the buying experience than their parents or grandparents might have been. In the Information Age, consumers have price trends, regulatory news, and other useful information all available to them through a quick Internet search—leading to a better informed homebuyer. As an agent, Clarke says it's becoming more and more common for would-be buyers to come to him with clear goals already established. "They have data at their fingertips . . . . they set themselves up on automated searches, they look at our blog, and they know the informa- tion about their local market. Before they even get to an agent, they know the market well, they know what they can afford, and they are willing to adjust their expectations," he said. At the same time—true to the stereotype surrounding their generation—Millennials appear to have a desire for bigger and better things than is always practical. Another Redfin survey released in late 2013 listed home "must- haves" among young buyers, finding factors like "affordability" tend to rank near the bottom of the list—a problem for a group coming into the market with low incomes. "They're willing to spend a large portion of their income to get most of what they want," Clarke said. "They're not going all the way toward being very rational and very cautious financially and buying the most rea- sonable property, but they're also not going to the other end of the spectrum and putting themselves out on a limb because they are aware of what happened in the previous market cycle." A Dream Passed Down M illennials are tackling personal mile- stones at their own pace, but they'll prioritize housing over most others. They're plagued by debt and low employment, but they rank a home's affordability lower than most other qualities when considering a purchase. Laslty, they're willing to scale back their expectations—to an extent. Generation Y remains, as ever, a difficult group to nail down. There is one trait the majority seem to share, and it's perhaps the most promising in terms of future home buying activity. "They want to own," Tsujimoto said. "Homeownership is still a priority amongst all of the generations, including Generation Y. They're just not able to right now." A recent survey from Better Homes and Gardens backs up Tsujimoto's claim, showing 79 percent of Millennials still value home- ownership as part of the American Dream, with 77 percent calling it a good investment. Add to that the fact that, according to find- ings in the NAR's 2013 Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers, today's young households actually have the most positive feelings associated with homeownership. "Of these successful homebuyers . . . we did find that they're actually the most optimistic of all the generations," Lautz said. "They're thinking their home is not only going to be the place where they're going to live—paint the walls, maybe start a family there—but it's a good financial investment for themselves, and they're the most optimistic out of anyone about it." And on top of everything else, the young- est of Gen Y's ranks have yet to reach what has been the "typical" home buying age. Based on Census data, Tsujimoto expects the Millennial group will grow to make up 44 percent of Americans of primary home buying age—meaning while sales volumes to young Americans might remain low for the moment, it's really just a matter of time before they eclipse Generation X and the Baby Boomers. "It's really just kind of waiting for them to get on their feet," he said. "We're just going to have to wait for it to come." Stand Out as an Industry Leader and Present Your Company in the Premier Publication in Mortgage Banking. Upcoming MReport Editorial Advertise now! Call 214.525.6700 or connect with us online at Featured: The Shrinking Number of Homeownership The country is becoming more transient. Why has the homeowner become so nomadic? How did we get there? Special Section: Analytics and Risk Guide Bonus Distribution: Annual TMBA Convention "homeownership is still a priority amongst all of the generations, including Generation Y. They're just not able to right now." —Gregory Tsujimoto, John Burns Real Estate Consulting VISION VISION VISION turn your into reality Follow us @LandmarkAMC © 2014 Landmark Network, Inc. All rights reserved. Landmark Network provides you complete control and custom solutions for your valuation needs. Turn your vision into reality with an outstanding customer experience and unparalleled technology.

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