Is home ownership still the millennial milestone?

Millennials – otherwise defined as 24 to 39-year-olds – are dominating property headlines as they, along with Gen Zs, define the future market’s success. 

The generation who grew up with the internet dial-up tone are the largest group in the active workforce (28% of those are managers, according to Deloitte in 2018) and demand a new style of living: flexible, convenient and sustainable.

According to CBRE Residential’s research Millennials: Myths and Realities, 63% of millennials are renting and 80% agree that property prices are rising faster than wages. 


This statistic highlights the significant number of millennials who are discouraged from the idea of home ownership due to influencing economic factors and view the prospect as an unachievable goal.

Is it just down to financial hardship?

Since the proliferation of technology, principally in our new millennia, the property industry has seen a surge in the evolution of the real estate lifecycle; from taking the market online with estate agencies to using AR and VR to improve user experience with virtual viewings. 

The biggest impact, however, has come from the role reversal of landlord and tenant, who is now referred to as the customer. 

Apps like Uber and Airbnb give customers power and finally a platform where their voice could be heard. This influenced other industries to transition to a business model where digital was a front-running utility.

From this, millennials now request attentive customer service, a user experience which the private rental sector and build to rent can offer. According to CBRE, 72% of millennial homeowners state that they’ve had to sacrifice elements of their lifestyle to pay for a mortgage. 

This is a major influencing factor on a millennial’s decision to purchase property. Millennials value experiences: They aspire to travel and help their communities more than starting families or their own businesses, says Deloitte. 

“Millennials are a massive economic factor with a comprehensive and diverse range of interests and a very unique set of economic challenges,” said George Spencer, CEO and founder of Rentify.

Andrew Deverell-Smith, founder and CEO of Deverell Smith, added: “The millennial market is obviously the future of Britain’s property world. The decisions they make will set the tone for the future market, with home buying almost prohibited by some people. The effect on the market will either be a new economic model for new homes or a build to rent mindset.”

So, what does the future look like for block management?

Millennials are influencing the built environment. The fundamental shift in home tenure from owner occupancy to rental establishes the importance of effective property management and that high-quality customer service is essential for success. But we mustn’t ignore the differentiating demands between Gen Zs and millennials, the requirements which are currently mandatory for success will soon shift to cater for another primary customer. 

Gen Zs are tech savvy, digitally connected, social and more formally educated than other generations before them: expect work and lifestyle to prioritise over real estate.

A unique panel of industry leaders and pioneers will assemble for the first Deverell Smith conference and networking event: Is home ownership still the millennial milestone?

The event will be held at Kings Cross Everyman Cinema on Wednesday 13th May, 8am – 10.30am.

The panel will debate the release of Deverell Smith insights into millennials and in the Gen Y trends that will govern the property world.

Hosted by Tania Thomas, founder of Maison Communications, there will also be the following speakers on the panel:

  • Jennet Siebrits – Head of Research, CBRE
  • George Spencer –  CEO and Founder, Rentify
  • Jack Parsons – CEO and Founder of The Big Youth Group
  • Plus additional key voices

For more information visit:

Laura Croggon is communications manager at Deverell Smith 


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