Millennials and Baby Boomers' homebuying preferences are upending experts' forecasts, and master-planned community developers are taking note.
As buyers, both generational groups seemingly want the same things: flexibility, walkability, healthy living and the outdoors. Peter Dennehy, senior vice president of Meyers Research, says these groups offer developers an unique opportunity, "Developers should be paying more attention to quality infill developments built for affordability and lifestyle," and should move away from, "no lifestyle upfront," the Urban Land Institute reports. Creating specific solutions to meet the strong demand from both groups represents a "great opportunity," says Gregg Logan, managing director of real estate advisory group RCLCO.
In Ontario, California, about 35 miles (56 km) outside Los Angeles, 43 percent of buyers in Brookfield Residential’s 124-acre (50 ha) New Haven development have been millennials, says John O’Brien, vice president of housing for Brookfield Residential Southern California. In some ways, the 2,500-unit, development, part of the 8,000-acre (3,200 ha) master-planned Ontario Ranch development, is exactly the type of outlying master-planned project that millennials were expected to avoid. “We’re still a little surprised how much we’ve seen this type of buyer,” O’Brien said. “Until a few years ago, we would have thought half of that.”