young familyThe Millennial generation, typically those who are 33 years old and younger, represent one of the largest generational groups in U.S. history after the Baby Boomers. As such, their potential to positively influence the housing market in a big way can’t be discounted. According to an annual survey of recent homebuyers by The National Association of Realtors, millennials are the leading generation of all first-time homebuyers.

The question is when they’re buying that first home and why.

As opposed to previous generations, millennials are purchasing a first home at an average age of 29 years old. And the challenges before them could ultimately push that average age of home ownership out even later.

What are some of those challenges?

  • Large student loan debt
  • Limited credit
  • Home affordability
  • Small home inventory

Again, the combination of limited home selection, home prices and credit and/or debt issues may not be completely hampering a home purchase but in many cases could cause a fair number in this age bracket to put homebuying off for a few more years and save for a down payment while debt is paid down, credit is expanded and home inventory improves.

On a positive note, homebuyers of this generation appear to be finding financial and emotional satisfaction in purchasing older homes that may be of a lower price point, which may in turn provide some home remodeling and renovation opportunities as well.

What does this mean for refinishers? First off, you will need to reach these younger folks in different ways than you may be used to. These people like to get information from the internet on their tablets and cell phones. A strong web site and social media presence will be very important for refinishers. How your web site shows up in web searches will be very important.

Like any first-time buyer, millennials will be looking for value in a home. That means older homes and that means refinishing opportunities. These homeowners might very well look to save money by having their tubs, tile, vanities and kitchen counters refinished rather than replaced.

Complete information on the survey can be found on the National Association of Realtors site.