Susana Navarro, Brett Walmsley and family were among the first buyers at Barcelona Irvine Spectrum.

Millennials seek Irvine’s quality of life

by Mina Wan

Mina Wan

Now mostly in their 30s, millennials continue to drive value for local homeowners.

The generation – born somewhere between 1981 and 2000 – is, by far, the largest homebuying demographic in the nation. They now make up more than one of every three home purchases, according to new data from the National Association of Realtors.

And that drives value for local residents.

Part of it is supply and demand: There are more millennials looking for homes than opportunities to purchase. That is increasing value for existing homeowners, according to Mina Wan, president of Signature One Realty Group.

“If you have a home, especially in a family-oriented community like Irvine, millennials are on the hunt,” Wan says. “That allows current homeowners options to leverage this moment and move up into a larger home or scale down into something smaller.”

The trend is also due to improving economic circumstances.

Millennials, especially the 30-somethings, are approaching debt-free status. In fact, the average student debt is now just $874 for those that graduated in 2010, according to the Education Data Initiative.

Low interest rates coupled with the freedom of being debt-free and starting a family is making Irvine very attractive for younger homebuyers, Wan says.

“This has the added benefit of maintaining stronger home values in Irvine when compared to other cities.”