Younger generations are now redefining the purpose of a home, and they are more serious about it than ever.
Recently YPulse conducted a marketing report called No Place Like Home in which significant insights surfaced over how the COVID-19 pandemic changed how Gen-Z and millennials view their homes.
Forbes’ Charles Taylor quotes the report saying, “As young people look to their spaces as mental health retreats, at-home items and services that comfort, declutter, or foster a feeling of escape that from the outside world will resonate.”
The idea that millennials are true homebodies is nothing new. YPulse observed a while back that millennials preferred going to go to a café or watching Netflix at home as opposed to going to a party on a Saturday night even prior to the pandemic. Taylor adds, however, that both millennials and Gen-Z (widely regarded as the most stressed-out generation in history) are seeing the home as a refuge from the outside world, as many have felt stressed by issues such as climate change, the 2008 recession, student debt, and now COVID-19.
YPulse predicts these groups will increasingly look for spaces that offer a fully equipped home office, including ample seating, good desk space, temperature control, and tech features. Working remotely from home is not a trend that is expected to disappear once the pandemic is in the rearview mirror. Having both a home fitness space as well as private outdoor space are also key to winning their hearts, according to the research, along with well-equipped kitchens. With going out to eat no longer the treat it once was, there has been an uptick in the number reporting cooking as a hobby. Both a play space as well as a study space for children are also home gems to these generations — any way to keep the kids busy as well as entertained.
This research says that COVID-19 has led to 80% of young people self-quarantining and, 83% reporting that their home has provided them with comfort during the pandemic.
“In addition, 71% actually indicate that they actually enjoy being able to spend additional time at home,” Taylor says. “This ‘shelter from the storm’ as YPulse puts it, brings comfort to young consumers, who describe their ideal home as being comfortable, cozy, safe, calming, and quiet. Accompanying these feelings is a desire for simplified décor that is calming and reflects a less cluttered environment.”
Unlike their parents, both of whom may have worked outside the home, depended on daycare to help with their families, and hired outsiders to perform their remodels, GenXers and millennials will be DIYers.
“The report indicates that 64% of young consumers say they are more interested in-home improvement than before COVID,” says Taylor.
YPulse reports that while about 3 million millennials have moved back with their parents during the pandemic, a majority live on their own. Those who are currently sharing a home with their parents have the goal of owning in the future, with 85% of young people reporting that they plan to eventually buy a house.
As long as the inventory of possible homes can increase once the pandemic ends, the market may be flooded with young homebuyers.
“It remains likely that once the crisis passes there will a boom in millennial wealth, leading to an even better housing market,” says Taylor.
YPulse’s data says they will be looking for low crime rates, being close to friends, being able to afford a larger home, and having more outdoor space. This means the trend of moving out of cities will continue.
“If more work remains remote post-Covid, this may become a very realistic dream for many young people,” he says.