Bringing Millennials Home
Millennials are not just a generation of renters anymore.
Seems like everybody has something to say about millennials.
As defined by the Pew Research Center, millennials are people born between 1981 and 1996. Countless studies have theorized about their work ethic, lifestyle habits and even what they eat (avocado toast, please). But one myth — the notion that millennials are destined to be renters — is being debunked in a big way.
According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Home Buyers and Sellers Generational Trends Report, this much-maligned generation now makes up the largest share of American home buyers: 36 percent, with 65 percent of them being first-time home buyers. And guess where they’re looking to buy?
A list recently released by Time magazine ranks the Tampa/St. Petersburg/Clearwater metro region among the top 25 cities where millennials are moving. What makes the Tampa Bay area so attractive to this younger generation?
Home sweet home for millennials means more than a place where wi-fi connects automatically.
Millennials want to live and work in areas that are walkable and bikeable, with recreational facilities, public transit and proximity to research universities and incubators. They want thriving breweries, a vibrant arts and entertainment scene and an exciting nightlife. Tampa and St. Pete offer all that and more.
Entrepreneurs are drawn to the area, thanks to a flourishing small business environment as well as the emergence of indie markets like Tampa Indie Flea at the Armature Works, which enable promising artisans to showcase their craft and create niche markets for themselves.
Incubators and collaborative workspaces like Station House and CoWork Tampa help foster startups and encourage networking with like-minded professionals. Same-old, same-old office amenities won’t do: millennials don’t just want coffee, but yoga; not just printers, but exciting art on the walls. (Case in point: the yoga mats, air hockey games and locally-made artworks at St. Pete’s The Penny Hoarder, cited by the Tampa Bay Business Journal as 2018’s coolest office space.) Sustainable and green architecture are important, too, as are more spaces to congregate, glass walls (or no walls) and high ceilings.
Millennials are buying in downtown and suburban areas.
While many millennials are flocking downtown, a new trend suggests they are becoming more traditional in their home-buying habits. According to the NAR report, an increased share of millennials bought homes in suburban areas last year. Zillow economists agree that while millennials like urban core living, many will seek more affordable housing in the suburbs.
And we know that Tampa Bay has plenty of those.