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27 10 2016
Millennials Take an Interest in Real Estate

It is often said that the younger generation in Germany spends little time thinking about the future. But a recent survey by Postbank found that this is far from the truth. Instead, it suggests that a large number of the so-called millennials are very much toying with the idea of major acquisitions. They often dream, for instance, of buying property, fancy furniture and fixtures, or high-tech gadgets. It appears that young people today know perfectly well what they want their future to look like, which dreams they will strive to make reality, and what their priorities will be once they saved up enough cash to put paid to their hopes. Loath to leave it at pipe-dreaming, millennials actually engage in realistic planning.

Real Estate Beats Cars and High-Tech

As the housing shortage deepens in Germany's major cities and rents spiral out of control, homeownership has become an attractive alternative even for the younger generations. Buying a home is now the first buying choice for 40 percent of the survey respondents of the ages 18 through 34. In fact, condominiums clearly top the wish list, far ahead of the group of respondents who consider buying an automobile their chief priority (18 percent). Another 13 percent of the respondents prioritise investing in furniture or high-end home furnishings. Finally, 12 percent of the young people interviewed have their sights set on cutting-edge technology. These results are surprising insofar as millennials are considered “digital natives,” that is, the first generation to have grown up with the internet and social media as part of everyday life.

Cravings Influence Investment Behaviour

Evidently, “bricks and mortar” have the same high status among young adults as they used to have for previous generations. This is to a large extent explained by first-hand experience. Students, for example, often have a hard time finding an affordable flats or a room in a flatshare. It is a formative experience, and encourages young people to decide early on what sort of home they will want to live in later in life. But the strained situation on the housing market has also prompted other age groups to place a premium on homeownership. Across all age groups, the number of those who can well imagine buying a home now equals 37 percent of the respondents, up from just 26 percent as recently as last year. Having such concrete plans for the future will inevitably influence investment behaviour of people. Once the goals have been defined, young people tend to pursue them with a sense of purpose. One in three Germans pays into building society savings accounts to make their dream of homeownership come true.