According to an article in last week’s online Builder Magazine, Zillow has reported that nearly 42% of all home buyers are millennials, defined as people between the ages of 18 to 34. These first time home buyers still believe in the American Dream of home ownership and consider owning a home a good financial investment. Their average age when buying a home is 33, compared to 29 a generation ago. But, we can say with confidence, they have finally arrived in the home buying market.

So are these ‘millies’, as I like to call them, responsible for the fast paced Anchorage residential market we are currently experiencing? That could very well be for despite all the doom and gloom coming out of Juneau, MLS reports that for the first thirty days in 2017, Anchorage single family sales were the highest in five years. According to a 2014 population census, this age group is even larger than Alaska’s ‘boomers’ population. As our Alaskan ‘boomers’ struggle to decide where to live and in what type of housing, it appears the ‘millies’ are picking up the slack.       

What’s also interesting about the Zillow report is that 42% of these homebuyers prefer to live in the suburbs while only 33% want to live in an urban area and 20% in a rural area. This holds true in Anchorage where single family homes between $300,000 to $400,000 sometimes sell in just a handful of days. Locally, these ‘millie’ buyers seem to prefer to live on a dedicated public street, serviced by public water and sewer. These homes are similar to the residential environment where their grandparents lived. So the idea of an ‘urban’ lifestyle for this emerging market may not hold up although they do have an interest in townhouse style living which may be driven, in part, by a more affordable price.  

Like all buyers, locally and nationally, these buyers want an upscale home environment with as much square footage as they can afford. And they’re quick to make a decision once they find their ‘dream’ home on their app. If they can find it, they prefer a new home, or at least one that has been recently remodeled with solid surface countertops and upscale appliances. So, welcome the ‘millies’ to our market!