In a recent realtor.com survey of home buyers, 23% of millennial respondents said rising rents are the main reason they've decided to purchase a home. This sentiment is backed by a nationwide trend of rent increases over the past few years, the website notes. Indeed, a recent report from RealPage found that U.S. apartment rates have surged 28.5% in the current cycle, continuing eight consecutive years of apartment rental-rate growth.
According to realtor.com, 17% of survey respondents ages 18 to 34 said fulfilling family needs was their main motivation for buying a home. Stability was the top priority for another 14%, while personal expression was most important to 13%.
The survey found some general differences by respondent age group: Over 20% of buyers 55 years or older said they were seeking privacy in buying a home, compared with only 12% of millennials. Eighteen percent of 55-plus respondents said they were looking for physical comfort in their new home, and 15% cited stability. Personal expression was the priority for only 9% of 35- to 54-year-old buyers and only 6% of 55+ buyers, the survey found.
Realtor.com’s report is based on an online survey of more than 1,000 active buyers conducted by Toluna Research in early March. Forty-four percent of respondents across all age groups were looking for three-bedroom homes, and 93% wanted at least two bathrooms. A garage was considered one of the most important home features by 27% of respondents, followed by an updated kitchen, at 24%, and an open floor plan, at 20%.
While 28% of 55-plus respondents favored ranch-style homes, 10% of millennials favored contemporary styles, 10% preferred colonial homes, and 11% expressed no preference.