Generation Y homebuyers may be attracted by quality of life in Atlanta

According to a recent consumer survey, millennials and other members of Generation Y are increasingly interested in homeownership, with different factors such as quality of life fueling their decisions. This portends good news for the rebounding market for real estate in Atlanta.

The survey identified several different factors that drive the decision of millennials to dip their toes into the home buying market. Many of these relate to quality of life contributions, with location being significantly more important to Generation Y than it was to the preceeding Baby Boomer generation.

"We're finding that millennials look at buying homes differently than baby boomers do," Move Inc's Julie Reynolds told Heritage. "Where baby boomers look at homes more as investments, millennials are living closer to where they work, closer to the central part of towns and focus on cultural activities and other things to do other than just work."

The survey backed up the observations by Reynolds. An overwhelming 83 percent of respondents cited a close proximity to the office or workplace as being very or somewhat important. Additionally, being close to friends and family - 67 and 65 percent identified this as being very or somewhat important, respectively - was another key factor. Results from the survey suggest that millennials valued the density of cities, with work and social life at a convenient arms reach away, over the sprawl and style of suburbs.

Nearly 70 percent of respondents suggested that built-in amenities were very or somewhat important, significantly trumping the 26 percent who highlighted style as a priority. This is strong evidence of the practicality of Generation Y. Additionally, a significant 62 percent of respondents valued living space, while only 48 percent would like a backyard and only 39 percent prefer having a garage. These are further exhibits of the priority of cities over suburbs for this generation of homebuyers.

Atlanta's fast-growing Generation Y population makes the city a particularly desirable hotspot for millennials looking to buy their first homes. According to the Atlanta Business Journal, the demographic of "echo boomers" is estimated to have reached 80 million.

"[A]ny Southeast city with 1.5 million to 2 million people is a city we are going to target," a local developer told the news source. "And a huge part of our growth is going to be the echo consumer."