If your friends have recently purchased a home, then the odds are good you might start thinking about doing the same. If they’re posting about it on social media, however, you’re probably going to take some action. According to a new survey from Bank of America, about a third of Millennials say that posts on social media about homeownership make them think, “If they can buy, why can’t I?” About a quarter of the 2,000 respondents said that they are starting to fear missing out on an opportunity when they see these posts, and about the same number said they are “jealous” of their new-homeowner peers.

This news is particularly relevant since Millennials have been buying homes and starting families later in life than previous generations. Now, “their interest level is high, and it’s driven by what they see,” explained D. Steve Boland, Bank of America’s head of consumer lending. Bank of America defined this trend as a fear of missing out (FOMO). Interestingly, one of the primary responses to the survey from potential first-time buyers was that it was “time to grow up and buy,” although this was likely a pre-written survey response.

Investor Insight: Social media marketing is taking on a larger role in real estate as younger homebuyers enter the market.

In 2018, the National Association of Realtors estimates that 65 percent of all first-time buyers will be Millennials. This generation is defined loosely in the real estate sector, generally encompassing all individuals born between the early 1980s and the early 2000s. The group is characterized by having come into adulthood during the housing crash or the Great Recession, having heavy student loan debts, and tending toward household formation later in life.

The survey also indicated that social media platforms where these potential homebuyers view their peers’ new properties play a big role in their lives already. Facebook, although ubiquitous, was not as frequently mentioned as Twitter and Instagram. About a third who have made a home purchase feel their home is “a reflection of my personality” and nine in 10 say they “treasure the memories” they have made in their new homes.

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  • Carole VanSickle Ellis

    Carole VanSickle Ellis serves as the news editor and COO of Self-Directed Investor (SDI) Society, a membership organization dedicated to the needs of self-directed investors interested in alternative investment vehicles, including real estate. Learn more at SelfDirected.org or reach Carole directly by emailing Carole@selfdirected.org.

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