Taylor Morrison consumer survey shows changing homeownership ideals

Dive Brief:

  • Fewer than half of homebuyers today believe in the idea of a "forever home," or a home that they will inhabit throughout their lifetime, with 56% of buyers surveyed by homebuilder Taylor Morrison calling the concept outdated. The survey took responses from 1,000 adults across the U.S. who had bought a home in the past three years, or were likely to buy one in the next three years.

  • Of millennials surveyed, 58% said they planned to change homes as they age and as their lifestyles change. One-third of millennials said they plan to live in their next home for less than a decade, with 80% equally or more interested in a new home versus an existing property.

  • Of those surveyed, 26% said floor plans suited to their current lifestyle gave new homes an edge over existing properties.

Dive Insight:

Despite what the survey responses reveal about homeownership sentiment, millennials today are moving less frequently than generations before them did at the same age, according to Pew Research Center data.

Overall, Americans moved at the lowest level since 1948 between 2015 and 2016. One Yale Law School professor attributed the low rate to mobility-stalling factors like homeownership subsidies, increased restrictions on land use, growth in occupational licensing limiting where workers can move and municipal bankruptcy practices that maintain public services in struggling cities and thus keep people there.

First-time buyers — many of whom are millennials — are likely to continue to struggle to own homes as starter-home inventory lags. Entry-level home supply fell 8.7% year-over-year in Q1 as the median starter home price surged 8.3% for the quarter, Trulia found. And with home prices continuing to rise, many owners are hesitant to trade up to the newer, bigger properties in a move that would open up much-needed inventory at the entry level. Trulia also noted that trade-up inventory fell 7.9% year-over-year during Q1.

For lack of sufficient existing inventory, builders are adding more entry-level options to their new-home product lines, including smaller-scale, lower-cost single-family homes as well as more townhouses near public transit and other services. 

In its survey, Taylor Morrison found that prospective homebuyers' expectations for higher mortgage rates don't appear to have much of an effect on their decision to buy a property when the home meets their needs. The company found that both new and prospective buyers, particularly millennials, would voluntarily take on low, double-digit interest rates — however unlikely those rates are in the near future — because they felt owning a home was worth the investment.

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Filed Under: Residential Building Economy
Top image credit: Mark Hogan via Flickr