By the Engel & Völkers Team
We had the pleasure of chatting with our very own Dean Poritzky, Private Office advisor and license partner of Engel & Völkers Wellesley, to discuss current generational trends and shifts he’s seeing in the Wellesley, Weston and surrounding Boston area real estate markets. Here’s a peek into some of his on-the-ground insight.
E&V TEAM: Your market is known for having many historic, New England homes (we’re talking homes circa the 17th century). What’s in it for millennials?
PORITZKY: Many millennials are moving from Boston, where many will still work and commute. They're looking to raise their families with more space in quieter neighborhoods, but still visit Boston for work, a night out or a weekend trip. The Wellesley/Weston areas are great options for many of the more affluent millennials looking to live near walkable towns with great restaurants and a strong sense of community.
What kinds of design elements are they looking for in a home?
Open concepts are popular—buyers still prefer an easy flow from the family rooms, to the living rooms, to the kitchen area. They like the family/living area to be a more casual space where they can cook, entertain and spend most of their time. Younger buyers are also into traditional houses with classic architecture that lets in lots of light and brightness. These elements might be cliché, but it doesn’t seem to be changing over time, in my experience.
The millennial couples and families that are currently buying in our areas also favor large closets, master dressing rooms, children’s rooms and attached garages, so when it comes to historic homes, it's hard to give up those modern niceties. That's why I really need to know my market, inventory and how to resolve possible objections so I can carefully price properties based on demand and suggest resolutions.
What about empty nesters?
They’re inclined to go for a more modern home because they’ve likely done a more traditional before—they’re comfortable taking a risk because they’re at a point in their life where they are seeking change. Many are also looking to move back into Boston. Over 50% of my on-the-market listings exist because empty nesters want to move back into the city, and they’re not downsizing—only in square footage. Now that their kids are older, they want to be around Boston's shops, restaurants and energy again, and that comes with a price tag.
There’s talk of Boston becoming the next Silicon Valley or innovation hub—home to MIT, Harvard and unicorn startups like Hubspot and Wayfair. How have you seen this change in your real estate market?
I’m seeing more and more young people who are able to purchase large homes. Because of Boston’s boom in tech entrepreneurship and investment, I’m also seeing young, super affluent buyers who have been able to start and sell their successful startups and become some of the super-rich. But these buyers still want simple things, which include the best schools for their kids and great communities in which to raise them.