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How Millennial Home Layout Preferences Differ From Other Generations

Who are Millennials?

The Millennial age range is roughly 20-37 today. Millennials were born between 1981 and 1996. The characteristics of millennials vary by region and by individual, and the group experiences a variety of social and economic conditions, but they are generally marked by their coming of age in the Information Age, and are comfortable in their usage of digital technologies and social media. Anna DeSimone, author of Housing Finance 2020 and a housing advocate says, “Millennials have represented the largest share of the home buying market for the past five years in a row with the 2018 share at 36%."

What kind of layout do Millennials envision for their home? A plurality of Millennials – 43 percent – want a completely open layout for their family room and dining room, a higher share than any other generation, according to an NAHB report. Millennials are more inclined to want features such as two-story homes, open layouts, and a greater number of bedrooms and bathrooms than other generations, according to data from NAHB’s “What Home Buyers Really Want” report. The report is based on a survey of prospective and recent home buyers about the preferences they want in a home and community.

Additional space is important to millennials, who have an eye toward homes with at least three bedrooms (87%) and two bathrooms (86%). These home buyers also want a half basement (36%) or a full basement (37%), and prefer open kitchen and dining room layouts (50%) and family room and dining room layouts (43%) more so than older home buyers.

What they don’t tend to want are single-story homes (35%) — which, in contrast, are much more popular with boomers (80%) and seniors (74%). Three-bedroom homes are also popular among boomers (52%) and seniors (56%), but interest in four bedrooms or more drops for these generations — to 23% and 13%, respectively — and increases for millennials.

NAHB economist Carmel Ford attributes millennials’ increased interest in additional bedrooms to potentially accommodating growing families. Read more about millennial layout preferences in this Eye on Housing post.