5 Ways Millenial Home Buyers Are Transforming the Santa Cruz Real Estate Market

5 Ways Santa Cruz Home Buyers Are Transforming the Real Estate Market

The real estate market has always been dynamic, with shifting trends and preferences shaping the industry. One generation that is making a significant impact on the market is millennials. Born between the 1980s and early 2000s, millennials, also known as Generation Y, have distinct attitudes and preferences when it comes to buying homes. In this article, we will explore the ways in which Santa Cruz home buyers, specifically millennials, are transforming the real estate scene. From their tech-savvy research methods to their specific must-have features, millennials are changing the way homes are bought and sold in Santa Cruz.

1. Embracing Technology: The Rise of Tech-Savvy Researchers

In today’s digital age, millennials are leading the way in leveraging technology to research and find their dream homes. According to a report by the National Association of Realtors (NAR), a staggering 99% of millennials search for homes online on various websites. They are not only using their smartphones but also utilizing social media and online networks to collaborate and share information. This digital approach to the home buying process sets millennials apart from previous generations.

To attract millennial buyers, real estate investors, firms, and agents in Santa Cruz must enhance their online presence. They should optimize their websites for mobile use, leverage social media platforms, and provide valuable content that resonates with this tech-savvy generation.

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2. Trusting Realtors: The Importance of Expert Guidance

Despite their inclination towards digital research, millennials still highly value the expertise and guidance of real estate agents. A remarkable 92% of millennials purchased their homes through a realtor, according to a Bank of America report. Millennials see real estate agents as trusted advisers and strategic partners who can help them navigate the complex home buying process.

Real estate agents in Santa Cruz can capitalize on this trust by building strong relationships with millennial clients. By providing personalized experiences, insights, and assistance in understanding the purchase process, agents can cater to the specific needs of this generation.

3. Specific Must-Have Features: Designing Homes for Millennials

Millennials have unique preferences when it comes to the features they desire in their homes. In Santa Cruz, these preferences are shaping the real estate market. Millennials gravitate towards newly-constructed homes to avoid the hassle of renovations and potential plumbing or electricity issues. They prioritize spacious kitchens, open floor plans, dedicated workspaces for remote work, energy-efficient appliances, updated kitchen and bath, and integrated smart home systems.

A study conducted by Northshore Fireplace revealed that millennial buyers in Santa Cruz value new appliances, a large master bedroom, a 2-car garage, solar panels/energy storage, and a luxury kitchen. Additionally, convenient location to their workplace is a crucial factor for at least 65% of millennials when choosing a neighborhood.

4. Changing Perceptions of Homeownership: A Stepping Stone, Not Permanent

Unlike previous generations, millennials view homeownership as a stepping stone rather than a permanent commitment. Only 11% of millennials see homeownership as permanent, compared to 37% of seniors and 29% of baby boomers. The Bank of America Homebuyers Insights Report highlights that 68% of millennial homeowners consider their current home as a stepping stone towards their dream home.

This mindset is reflected in the average length of time millennials keep their homes before selling, which is six years compared to ten years for other homebuyers. The transient nature of millennials’ homeownership decisions can influence the real estate market in Santa Cruz, prompting potential buyers to consider purchasing sooner.

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5. The American Dream: Millennials and Homeownership

Despite waiting longer to buy their first homes compared to previous generations, millennials strongly associate homeownership with the American Dream. In fact, 65% of individuals aged 18-34 view homeownership as a quintessential part of achieving the American Dream. This belief, coupled with their increasing influence on the housing market, is reshaping the definition of “starter homes.” Today, starter homes are as large as the median homes for move-up buyers.

As millennials continue to dominate the housing market in Santa Cruz, it is essential for real estate professionals to understand and adapt to their preferences. By embracing technology, providing expert guidance, and catering to their specific must-have features, the real estate industry can effectively serve this generation and thrive in the evolving market.


Millennials are revolutionizing the real estate market in Santa Cruz with their tech-savvy research methods, trust in real estate agents, specific must-have features, changing perceptions of homeownership, and strong association of homeownership with the American Dream. As this generation continues to shape the industry, it is crucial for real estate professionals to adapt and cater to their unique needs and preferences. By embracing technology, providing expert guidance, and understanding their desired features, the real estate market in Santa Cruz can effectively serve millennials and thrive in this evolving landscape.

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About the Author
Seb Frey helps long-time Bay Area homeowners make their next move easily the next one yet. If you're looking for a minimum of hassle, maximum net cash on sale, and certain results, contact Seb today.