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PERSPECTIVES

Work-from-home morphs to buy-home-from-home



Millennials represent the largest generation of home buyers and will drive housing trends and demand for years to come.According to Zillow, 39% of millennials say they would be comfortable buying a home entirely online, while a majority (59%) said they would be at least somewhat confident making an offer on a home they toured virtually but not in person. More than 80% would like to view 3D virtual tours and digital floor plans when shopping for a home.

 

QUICK TAKES

  • In Q2/2022, housing’s share of GDP stood at 16.6%. (NAHB)

  • Over 50% of today’s home buyers find their properties online. (NAR)

  • The most desired tech tool not currently offered by real estate brokerages is cyber security, followed by lead generation, and eNotary. (NAR)

 

A huge wave of millennials — the largest generational group in the country — is now aging into their home buying years and approaching the typical age of a first-time homebuyer: 34. Zillow research forecasts there will be 6.4 million more households formed by 2025 as a result of the sheer number of millennials hitting their mid-to-late 30s, driving housing demand for years to come.

“It's clear that strong demand from the next generation of buyers will keep real estate technology in place long after the pandemic is over,” says Zillow senior vice president of product Matt Daimler. “Digital tools rapidly adopted during the pandemic not only make home shopping safer, they make it faster and easier. Technology like Zillow's 3D home virtual tours and interactive floor plans are allowing shoppers to teleport themselves from room to room of a for-sale home from their phone or tablet. Many transactions can now close remotely, too, saving time and hassle.”

Virtual tours and interactive floor plans help home shoppers make faster decisions by enabling them to winnow down their options from their couch. Homes on Zillow with a 3D Home tour were saved by buyers 32% more than homes without, and got, on average, 29% more views than listings without.

While millennials are currently the largest adopters of this real estate technology, Gen Z is close behind. More than one in three (36%) zoomers said they would be comfortable buying a home online, compared to 7% of baby boomers and 19% of Gen X. This data signals the coming sea change in how people will likely shop for and buy homes in the not-so-distant post-pandemic future.