Recent homebuyer numbers show ‘spending is just beginning’ for millennials, Jim Cramer says

Real Estate

CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Wednesday said the wait is over as millennials are now buying homes in larger numbers, pointing to luxury homebuilder Toll Brothers‘ earnings report for signs of proof.

“After a decade of cocooning, millennials want to buy homes that represent value, which is in keeping with the way they shop for everything else,” the “Mad Money” host said. “The delay in … homebuying is over, the spending is just beginning.”

Toll Brothers reported stronger-than-expected results in its fiscal 2019 fourth quarter, earning $1.41 per share on revenue of $2.38 billion. The company sold 2,672 units totaling $2.29 billion in home sales in the three-month period ending in October.

However, investors can get an “empirical” read, Cramer said, on millennial homebuying habits by listening to the Toll Brothers conference call for comments from CEO Doug Yearley.

“This market is strong and demographics suggest it will grow over the next decade as millennials mature,” Yearley said.

On the call, Yearley said Toll Brothers is homing in on “affordable luxury communities” that attract move-up, active-adult and millennial buyers. Older and more affluent millennials have been a big catalyst for this business strategy, where a third of the homes cost up to $500,000, he said.

“In fiscal year 2019 over 20% of our closings had one purchaser 35 years old or under,” Yearley said.

Cramer pointed out that homebuying is not just taking place in pockets of the country, but in regions nationwide that are “not beholden to Silicon Valley.”

And Toll Brothers, which operates in 23 states and the District of Columbia, is not alone.

Taylor Morrison, another homebuilder that operates in nine states spanning the south, southwest and midwest regions, also found that millennial homebuying has been on an upward trend. About 33% of its homebuyers today are millennials, up from 20% five years ago, CEO Sherly Palmer said.

“People who have jobs and feel confident in the future are taking advantage of affordable luxury wherever they can find it,” Cramer said. “I think that gives you great insight into the behavior of millennials, or at least the millennials who have money to spend.”

The millennial generation, which comprises people born between 1981 and 1997, and their consumption habits are largely blamed for fundamental changes in several industries like retail and the housing market. Technology has been a common denominator in the disruption of how businesses operate and consumers interact with them.

Millennials are expected to be the largest single cohort of homebuyers in 2020.

“The best thing about that Toll Brothers call: it’s all empirical, not political,” Cramer said. “These days, everything’s so darn politicized that it’s hard to get a good read on how the economy’s actually doing, which is why so many people end up missing the forest for the trees.”

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