Now in their mid-twenties to late-thirties, millennials – also known as Generation Y – are a hugely attractive group for the property market. But how can a property best attract them?

Getting to know them better is a great start. Yet with such a broad range of ages and demographics, there’s no such thing as a typical millennial. The media caricature of self-absorbed younger adults squandering their savings on avocado on toast is just that – a caricature. This group does, however, share some common traits that anyone selling anything to them should bear in mind.

They are the first “digital natives”, totally at ease with getting what they need from technology and social media. They’re at a stage of life when a career is super-important and social connections are everything. And they are often health-conscious and acutely aware of the need to live a lifestyle that’s as environmentally friendly as possible.

Millenials Furniture
Millenials Furniture
Whether they are renting or buying, millennials want the place they live to reflect the lifestyle they want. These ten features add up to a home that’s an ideal fit for this demographic:

1. Good technology and plenty of it. This means excellent high-speed wireless broadband, lots of electrical sockets and charging outlets and if possible, smart controls for lighting and appliances.

2. Home office space. This was important for millennials before the pandemic, as many already have flexible work schedules and “knowledge worker” jobs that could be done anywhere. Now, it’s a must-have. And when Covid has gone, working from home (WFH) will stay with us. Homes should either have the facility for bedrooms to double as offices, or for people to be able to work comfortably in living spaces.

3. Open-plan layout with a modern kitchen. They may have grown up in a traditional house with lots of (often small) rooms. But that’s not necessarily where millennials want to live now. They are at an age where they like to gather with friends and hang out in their homes. As well as making small and affordable spaces feel bigger, open-plan layouts with contemporary kitchens are just attractive places to be with family and friends.

4. Sustainability. Because this generation knows that their home forms a big part of their environmental footprint, they want it to be part of the solution. They want their appliances, heating and lighting to minimise energy and water use, with high-tech solutions such as smart meters and thermostats if possible. They like sustainable, natural materials that are produced in a carbon-friendly way and don’t release toxins into their home. Easy recycling is a big plus. And if they have a car, they’d love it to be an electrical vehicle (EV) that they could charge at home.

5. Modern design. Millennials are design-conscious, having grown up at a time when a modern, thoughtful aesthetic was becoming the norm in homes and public spaces. Together with neutral colours onto which millennials can project their own identities, the up-to-date design adds up to an attractive potential home.

6. Storage. People of this generation don’t want “stuff” as their predecessors did. Any stuff they do own, they like to be able to keep out of the way so it doesn’t disrupt the aesthetic of their space. Particularly in small homes, smart storage incorporated into designs will help them to achieve this minimalism.

7. Low maintenance. In their twenties and thirties, people mostly prefer socialising to gardening and fixing stuff. Their properties should be easy to maintain and look after – or even maintained by professionals.

8. Common social spaces. More and more developments targeted at millennials feature communal areas for socialising or work: they enable people to meet up in bigger groups if apartment space is limited, and the increase the appeal of a property, making it more than just a home.

9. Promoting wellbeing. Many millennials like to look after themselves. Secure bike storage will help them commute the way they want, while fitness or exercise spaces within or outside of a property will help their home to play a part in improving their health and fitness.

10. Pet-friendly. This generation is having kids later and buying more pets. So if it’s possible to make sure flats and developments can allow or even encourage pets, a significant percentage of millennials with thank you for it.

Although marketers have tried many times to pin down millennials to a very specific group of behaviours and attitudes, the reality is that this group can be very diverse. However, with every generation, there come changes and characteristics that are common throughout the cohort. In this case, it’s more flexible working, a focus on wellbeing, concern for the environment, and design and tech-savvy – plus the intense desire to socialise that younger adults have always had. When the property market meets these needs, it can create homes that Generation Y will want to live in.