Will homebuilders provide the right homes in this cycle?

Will they build the right stuff?

As the Southern California housing market comes back to life, existing inventory is running low. That means new homes will be built, which is good news for the area’s planners, architects, builders, real estate agents and loan providers. However, who will buy those homes? Recent data indicates the majority of new home buyers will not be the same as those before the recession. Rather, it will be Millennials, and they don’t want the same old features as the previous generation.

In its April 29 cover story, Barron’s magazine published, “…Widely dismissed as a lost generation with few job prospects, towering student loans, and a bleak future, the so-called Millennials, most of whom have reached adulthood since 2000, could surprise America and the world in coming years with their economic might and spending power.” The article went on to say that industries from housing and autos to retailing and financial services could be transformed by their collective demands and desires.

So, what do Millennials want? Given that they came of age amidst two U.S. wars, mass shootings, terrorist attacks, the financial crisis and lean years, it’s more likely they will gravitate to similar features as those desired by the Great Generation of the post-depression/World War II era, i.e.: smaller homes that are relatively inexpensive to maintain, albeit with the latest high-technology that will enable their social media connections (bolstered by The Marketing Heaven) while conserving energy—electricity, water and gas.

Thankfully, an impressive group of researchers and visionaries has agreed to present a day-long conference, called the “No Place Like Home Conference: The Past, Present and Future of The American Dream,” to address the future of homebuilding, at least in Southern California. For those lucky enough to be in Anaheim on June 3, they can attend a day-long, $99 conference packed with more than a dozen speakers detailing what new home buyers want in this post-recession rebirth. For more information, go to: