A New Generation Of Homebuyers is on the Scene! I traveled to New Orleans last week to attend the largest real estate conference in the U.S.
The National Association of Realtors annual convention had 20,000 in attendance this year.
This is always an interesting event. I meet brokers from around the globe and throughout the U.S. Talk this year was about the latest tech tools, virtual vs. traditional brokerage, short sales and foreclosures – and whether the next generation of adults will value home ownership.
There were several experts citing statistics about Gen Y and saying they won’t aspire to be home owners like Baby Boomers have. The sentiment is that these young adults are more mobile, more transient and scared away from the burdens of a mortgage by the economic crisis. This was an interesting perspective, but not in tune with my own experience. I’m currently working with two young couples who are buying their first home and sold another young couple their first home a few months ago.
As I was listening to the analysis of future home buying trends, I remembered Timothy Leary’s “turn on, tune in and drop out.” I remembered my parents taking me on peace marches. I remembered the hordes of people living in parks in San Francisco. I thought, “Bet those kids scared the sh.. out of a few real estate brokers back in the day.”
Then those Leary followers got married, had babies and found out they might be able to trust someone over 30. And they bought homes.
Several of us were in the airport discussing the premise that Gen Y won’t be home buyers. We were reminiscing about our own youthful days hitchhiking across Europe and putting off college for a year to work or travel around in trailers. We talked about how much older we were when we first married and had babies as compared with our parents. And we speculated whether this theory that Gen Y won’t buy into buying a house will prove true in 10 years. We were all boomers (with one Gen X) so we didn’t have a Gen Y to ask. Our Gen X representative said he thinks they’ll buy homes because they need a place for all of their stuff. He said they like stuff, tech stuff, but stuff nonetheless.
A little while later, an adorable young women reached out to me and said, “excuse me…”
The rest of this story will be continued in part 2!