Ready or not, the future generation is preparing to make its mark on society. They may soon dominate voting, they are having and raising children, and they are beginning to make their mark in the real estate industry.
This issue’s question is answered by Kerry Veach, co-owner of RE/MAX Southern Real Estate, and Jerry Sullivan of Century 21 Blue Marlin Real Estate.
Veach, a lifelong resident of Destin, has been a licensed real estate broker in Florida for over 25 years and has a thorough knowledge of the Okaloosa County and Northwest Florida markets.
Sullivan has been involved in commercial and residential real estate for over 14 years, including management, construction and ownership of a successful real estate company here on the Emerald Coast.
Hughes is a market expert on 30A real estate.
Beachcomber readers are encouraged to submit their real estate questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Kerry Veach
RE/MAX Southern Real Estate
The largest living generation at 92 million strong, millennials have transformed the home buying process. Or, more accurately, technology and the economy have changed the home buying process at a time when millennials came of age.
Those born between the years 1982 and 2000 are now ages 17-35, and with rising rent, they’re looking to buy in the Destin and Santa Rosa Beach areas. This generation is entering the real estate market as first-time homebuyers; what’s more, they hold the largest share of the first-time homebuyer demographic.
Their approach, however, is different because they were raised with the Internet and advanced technology, specifically smartphones. They’re used to having information at their fingertips. That’s why our RE/MAX Southern agents possess a strong online and social media presence. We also utilize sites like Zillow and Trulia to post Destin and 30A real estate.
Millennials do a lot of research online. They take virtual tours of homes, read reviews of neighborhood shops and restaurants, and even get a birds-eye view of the community using Google Maps. Then, when they are ready to buy, they research agents on social media and often contact them by text.
When millennials ask questions, they want answers quickly. Subsequently, real estate agents have adapted by using the latest real estate apps and software.
One great thing about millennials is they are more optimistic about buying real estate than prior generations. More than 80 percent of millennials want to invest in a home, and 90 percent use a real estate agent.
In coming years, the biggest challenges millennial homebuyers will face are finding homes they want, in the locations they desire, at prices they can afford. That’s where real estate agents’ insight, like that of the RE/MAX Southern team, becomes invaluable.
By Jerry Sullivan Century 21 Blue Marlin
At Century 21 Blue Marlin, we are encouraged to see the housing market continue to strengthen. In large part, we can attribute the incline to millennials and first-time homebuyers. Today’s loan options for this portion of the buyer pool are abundant, including some that require no money down.
According to Ellie Mae, a software company that analyzes mortgage data, millennials are the largest group of homebuyers. At the beginning of 2017, millennials represented around 45 percent of all purchased loans, up from 42 percent year-to-year.
Such factors as the financial crisis and tougher lending policies, as well as student loan debt, have all contributed to delayed home buying activity by millennials. A majority of this segment of the population has delayed “major life events” such as buying a home, but that could be about to change—and this might have a major impact on a housing market that is struggling to meet current demand.
Currently starter homes, which are favorable to first-time homebuyers, are in short supply. In fact, when doing our research, we found five single-family homes in Destin available for purchase under $250,000.
When it comes to calculating the effect of millennials and first-time homebuyers on the market, lower inventories plus high demand equal declining affordability. With fewer homes for sale, and more aging millennials ready to enter the home market increasing demand, home prices are on the rise.
Another factor attributed to millennials and first-time buyers comes down to education. The Federal National Mortgage Association, commonly known as Fannie Mae, determined there was a correlation between higher education and higher annual salaries. Higher education and salary gains could make home ownership more accessible to some millennials, which might in turn raise the millennial homeownership rate by 1.5 percentage points in the next 20 years.
While the term “millennial” is often times seen as demeaning, the generational segment has a real ability to affect the market if they hit the books. For first-time buyers looking to become homeowners this year, it’s important to do your homework.
First, determine your budget, then prioritize your requirements, and, finally, get pre-approved for a loan. While millennials may be living in a tighter lending environment than those before them, they do have one major advantage—low interest rates.
Having been in our industry for nearly a decade, we’ve worked with all generations at Century 21 Blue Marlin. It’s our company mission to enable Century 21 Blue Marlin agents to provide best-in-class brokerage services to all who aspire to buy and sell real estate throughout Florida’s Emerald Coast. For more information, please call 850-837-7800 or visit C21BlueMarlin.com.