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How Millennials are Changing the Real Estate Market


House prices are constantly on the rise, and it is much more difficult to get your foot on the property ladder.

Whilst there are schemes to help first time buyers, the unrealistic prices are pushing millennials out of the housing market. Instead, they’re forced to be creative, and come up with alternative solutions. Times are changing, and in this article, Cleveland Containers looks at how millennials are looking for alternative solutions.

Living with Parents

In 2016, more people between the ages of 18 and 34 live with their parents, 22.9 million people to be exact. 

Compare this to 1975, when there were less young adults living at home, and you can clearly see the rise in popularity in this trend.

The reason why more millennials are choosing to live at home (although “choosing” may not be the right word, so much as “have no choice”) is simple: the deposit on a house is high.

The reality is, is that rental prices don’t help with this either. As these figures soar too, it’s become near-impossible for millennials to rent their own place whilst also saving for a deposit.

In the major cities, this is most apparent.

Millennials renting properties can pay up to half of their monthly wages in rent, so it’s no wonder they can’t save for a deposit, when they need the rest of their wages to fund the costs of everyday living!

Buying with Friends

Whilst the rising cost of the housing market is drastically affecting millennials’ decisions when purchasing a house, there is another factor at play too.

In the UK, 38% of millennials have stated they would seriously consider buying a home with a friend. 52% said this was because they couldn’t afford a property by themselves, whereas 42% stated it was because they didn’t have a partner to buy with. I expect this trend to be reflected in the US.

More millennials are staying single, and in their search to find “the one”, are waiting longer to get married. The average first-time bride now gets married at 30.8, and first-time groom at 32.7. Compare this to the average ages of brides and grooms in the 1970s at 22.6 and 24.6 respectively, and you can see the dramatic change.

Perhaps then, it’s no wonder that many millennials are choosing to buy properties with friends: not only is the amount needed to save for a deposit halved; the mortgage, tax and utility bills are slashed by 50% too.

Alternative Living Accommodation

The lack of affordable accommodation has forced millennials to get creative with their living space, which has resulted in plenty of alternative housing solutions.

Shipping containers are steadily growing in popularity as a substitute for bricks and mortar buildings. Their strength and durability is ideal for housing, as they won’t crumble over time. Windows can be fitted to let natural light in; and water and electricity can also be installed. Multiple containers can even be joined together to create a larger space, all for the fraction of the price of a house.

It’s not just shipping containers that are helping millennials to deal with the housing market. For example, in the UK, there are 15,000 inhabited houseboats across the country; and others are residing in converted vans, sheds… even treehouses.

The other alternative, which is extremely popular in major cities, is the micro-flat. Essentially a grown-up University dorm, residents have their own private bedrooms (and en-suites, in some cases), but share lounges, dining areas and laundry facilities with other residents. Rental costs are much lower than what they would be for a traditional flat, and enables residents to save money for deposits, whilst making friends.

It’s no secret that getting a foot on the property ladder is much harder than it’s been in the past, and it’s unlikely to change. However, rather than being deterred, millennials are actively finding ways to deal with this difficulty, and in turn, are helping to change the real estate and housing market.