Do Millennials Have a Place in the NYC Real Estate Market?

Written By Nalyse Seymore | February 10, 2015 | Published in Elegran Insider, Real Estate Market Trends
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The more appropriate question, considering the current NYC real estate industry, might be: where do millennials live after college? A millennial is “a person born in the 1980s or 1990s, especially in the U.S.; a member of Generation Y.” 2015 is going to be booming with new construction in NYC, most of which are not in the budget for these first-time buyers. However, if you’d like to understand millennials and their investment options for 2015, you might be able to find them tucked away in a millennial boomtown.

Greenpoint, Brooklyn would be considered a millennial boomtown, as it was voted the number 1 place for millennials to live, where the median rent is $1,157 and 14 percent of the population is 25-34. There’s Bushwick, Brooklyn, a hot spot for artists and hipsters, who are mostly millennials, where the median rent is $1,800. Alongside its border is Ridgewood, Queens, also known as "the new Bushwick". According to FoxNY, “The apartments are cheaper and charming, transportation is good, and you can find world-class cuisine if you know where to look.” Most young people want the biggest bang for their buck. In this economy that means, they’ll take the grungy, tiny living space and will tolerate several zany roommates just for the urban experience. In fact, the concept of micro-unit apartments might be the key to efficient living in NYC.

After all, the millennial era is all about experience, whether that means traveling the world for a year and subletting an apartment or waitressing in the East Village, making enough money for rent and an occasional NYC rendezvous. Making just enough is what makes it hard for millennials to enter the real estate market and make a downpayment on a house or an apartment. Most young people are stuck paying student loan debt, insurance, and various other expenses that are not investments. Maybe if young people viewed a home or an apartment as an investment, like education, then they would see the value in having such an asset.

Having the vision might not be enough, but keeping up with the market is a good start for young people. According to the National Association of Realtors, financing and home purchasing data shows that 20 percent of Generation Y buyers had a difficult time with saving enough to afford a home in 2014. Among this group, 56 percent of buyers said student loans held them back. The NAR also reported, “Neighborhood factors which are important to buyers show strong connections to the buyer’s generation. Gen Y places the highest preference compared to other generations on convenience to job as well as affordability of homes.” Knowing the trends within NYC real estate market can help millennials make more informed decisions about future investment options. After all, the future is in their hands, and they’re slowing getting there, one “Start-up,” one #hashtag, and one Uber at a time.


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