Updated August 31 at 6:31pm

Next generation of homebuyers emerges

'My feeling is that home ownership is still desirable.'

Melissa A. Sepe is a Realtor for Westcott Properties in Providence. At 28, she’s also in the market for a home herself. Being a Realtor, she understands the process, though that doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to navigate.

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Real Estate

Next generation of homebuyers emerges

'My feeling is that home ownership is still desirable.'

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Melissa A. Sepe is a Realtor for Westcott Properties in Providence. At 28, she’s also in the market for a home herself. Being a Realtor, she understands the process, though that doesn’t necessarily make it any easier to navigate.

Complications with the sellers have left her with two unsuccessful attempts to buy a house in the last six months. “Down payments and credit have not been a problem in my case but I can see where that is still a lot of money” for others to commit to, she said.

Sepe represents the next generation of homebuyers and for the past several years they have remained relatively silent in the market, many of them monetarily stunted by the Great Recession. However, there are signs that members of “Generation Y” will soon be back in the marketplace.

Generation Y, also called the millennial generation, or millennials, is loosely defined as those people born in the early 1980s. The global financial crisis has had a major impact on this generation, which has suffered high levels of unemployment among young people, especially in Europe.

Generation Y is the fastest-growing segment of today’s workforce. According to the U.S. Census there are about 70 million people in that age range, an important marketing demographic. In general, they are computer savvy, raised during the technology boom and expansion. They are “plugged in,” familiar with communications, media and digital technologies. About one quarter of the students with loans plan to move home after graduation to curb costs. They tend to be bigger spenders when compared to other age groups, especially in leisure activities and hobbies.

In late May, the Urban Land Institute of Washington, D.C., released a new study; Generation Y, America’s New Housing Wave. According to the report, 47 percent of the nation’s Generation Y members plan to purchase homes within five years, compared to 29 percent of the overall population. Ten percent of this age group anticipates buying homes within the next 12 months.

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