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The proliferation of remote work has inspired an untold number of urban renters to purchase homes in more affordable markets. For some, this means a long-distance home search that requires the use of digital tools and perhaps a tech-savvy realtor. 

Millennials, a generational cohort well accustomed to shopping for big-ticket items like engagement rings and custom sofas over the internet, are growing more comfortable with the idea of purchasing a home entirely online.

A recent Zillow survey found that 39 percent of Millennials would be willing to buy a home online, while an additional 59 percent said they would be at least somewhat confident putting in an offer on a home that they toured virtually but not in-person. 

This generation was also keen to take advantage of digital tools, with 82 percent indicating that they would like to view 3D virtual tours, digital floorplans (85 percent), and self-guided tour features (78 percent) such as smart locks or apps.

Millennials are now entering their prime homebuying years — their mid-to-late-30s — and an estimated 6.4 million more households are expected to be formed by 2025, according to Zillow research. This will heighten demand for digital home shopping tools in the years to come, making the process of buying a home easier and less time-consuming.

“It’s clear that strong demand from the next generation of buyers will keep real estate technology in place long after the pandemic is over,” said Zillow Senior Vice President of Product Matt Daimler.

Real estate’s tech makeover has also made it safer to shop for a new home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Home buyers and sellers are able to limit their in-person interactions and sign documents with the click of a button.

In today’s fast-paced market, where the typical US home goes under contract in just 18 days, utilizing digital tools can help buyers quickly decide whether a newly listed home is worth touring in-person or submitting an offer on. Homes on Zillow that offer 3D tours are saved by buyers 32 percent more often than those without and garner 29 percent more page views, giving those properties a leg up on the competition.

Gen Z — those under the age of 24 who refrain from skinny jeans and side parts — also reported feeling comfortable with purchasing a home online. One in three Zoomers (36 percent) would be willing to do so, compared to 7 percent of Baby Boomers and 19 percent of Gen Xers.

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