Millennials Real Estate Trends
Meta: Generation Y used to be a small part of the housing market however, that changed significantly with the millennials. With them the real estate trends are constantly changing.
Malcolm Gladwell talks about epidemics in his book “the tipping point” and he talks about three things that turn any situation into an epidemic. As I read through his book, all I could relate to was the real estate market in Nairobi. One of his main discussions was ‘the law of the few’, he talks about how a group of people can be a tipping point to any situation, in this instance real estate. I will be talking about the millennial and technology as the “law of the few and how they tipped the scales of the industry and turned it into a complete epidemic. Who is a millennial? The dictionary definition? Millennials, also known as Generation Y, are the demographic cohort following Generation X and preceding Generation Z. Researchers and popular media typically use the early 1980s as starting birth years and the mid-1990s as ending birth years, with 1981 to 1996 a widely accepted defining range for the generation. We live in a world where everything we do has immediate results. This varies from sending money, ordering food, requesting transport among other things. I can go on and on about this but you know how this goes. Technology has made things rather simple and complicated at the same time. As developers, we need to adapt to the constant change of the market, keeping up with trendy waves.
Home ownership in the 90s
Let me take you back to the ’90s before millennials were born, life used to be simpler and slower than this fast-paced game we are used to now. Getting a house meant a big compound and bigger rooms! We even had rooms whose purposes were unknown. We are the generation that played in mud and grass in our backyards. And the whole estate was like one big family. That phase came and passed, as people, we’ve become more adaptable to convenience other than comfort. The current generation of Kenyans prefers convenient houses to opposed conventional houses. Music rooms and backyards become obsolete. We have adapted to the small space convenience over large wasted spaces that require constant upkeep and maintenance. Back then a small family of two parents and one kid could conventionally stay in a 3-bedroom house in which the third room was a guest bedroom. Nowadays the same typology of the family will conveniently stay in a 2 bedroom. Guest room? you can Airbnb it’s much convenient for both of us.
Effects of millennials in real estate
Now back to the article title, why millennials make the perfect tenants. Their main focus is convenience in terms of location, thus the infamous live work and play concept. This generation prefers to have all their needs met with a specific radius. As developers, we have incorporated most of the needs and wants of the investor in our developments. We make sure that our developments have the quickest access to supermarkets. Hey Carrefour!! School residential areas and accessibility to the bypasses which dare I say have made commuting in Nairobi less of a headache? This has led to more building plans approved in Nairobi by private developers over the past decade. Most of the residential apartments developed are middle to high income with a very limited contribution to affordable housing due to anticipated high returns. A product mix befitting the Millennials will ensure a definite sell out. They are the target market when it comes to rentals and this has made it easier to invest in apartments in the high-end area such as the beautiful Wilma towers in Kilimani.
To finish off by quoting Malcolm Gladwell I would say “human beings are a lot more sensitive to their environment than they may seem.
By Sumeiya Omar,
Property Sales Supervisor