Over the past few years, a growing trend has been pushing forward the movement of smaller and smaller homes. Tiny living, tiny homes, downsizing, smaller living… all terms used to describe the movement of moving from large homes into smaller dwellings. This movement definitely has not bypassed the LA area. The trend of amenities over size is growing quickly.
According to the US Census Bureau, in 2015 the typical new home had 2,689 square feet of indoor living space. In 2016, the size dropped to 2,634, which is the first drop in size in almost ten years. For years, buyers wanted more and more living space to accommodate growing families. As the average number of children in each family shrinks, so too is the house size desired by current buyers. The emerging trend is an emphasis on quality over quantity. Meaning that buyers are trading in house size for amenities and luxuries.
LA homebuyers have a long list of checkboxes they are looking for in amenities. Some of the most popular include:
• Separate spaces for laundry across all income groups
• Energy-efficient features, such as energy protecting windows
• Updated kitchen
• Energy Star-rated appliances
• Ceiling fans
• Automated home technology
• Programmable thermostats
• Outdoor living space
• Full bathrooms on the main level
The majority of homebuyers display a preference for new homes, as opposed to a pre-owned home, with 65 percent seeking a home in a suburban area. Regardless of income level, buyers across the board prefer slightly smaller homes that have more features and amenities to a larger house with fewer perks.
Research conducted by Better Homes and Gardens helps to describe what underlies this significant shift. The group coined “First Millennials” are people between the ages of 22-39 who are buying their first home. As First Millennials enter the market, they are looking for very different home qualities than previous generations. They found four very distinct patterns in homebuying among this group:
Technology is Key
This group was the first to grow up in the completely digital age. Previous generations lived with iPhones, tablets and the Internet, but many in this group of younger buyers have never known anything else. To this end, technology is critical for younger buyers. A high-tech home that is lacking in size is not enough to turn off younger buyers.
First Millennials are Okay with Repairs
A trend that was not predicted by many market experts is that the majority of First Millennials are okay with a fixer upper. A large percentage of this group feels that some degree of repair is just fine in their first home. This may be due, in large part, to the YouTube era of buyers. The plethora of home improvement reality shows and how-to videos on social media has made home repairs more accessible and viewed more positively than might be expected with this tech-loving group of buyers.
Bring on the Charm
Buying trends show that millennials are looking for unique homes with character to spare. This also means that smaller homes with a big “wow” factor are highly sought after with this buying group.
Green is Better
The next generation of homebuyers is more concerned about the environment and potential health risks. They are well aware of environmental concerns and therefore more interested in using green building techniques. Smaller homes are desirable, as they often decrease the impact on a family’s carbon footprint.
With a clear shift away from cavernous homes, buyers are now seeking smaller homes with lots of amenities. To learn more about Southern California real estate opportunities, contact our luxury real estate experts. We specialize in high-end properties in the most exclusive communities throughout the area.
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(all data current as of 8/17/2017)
Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.