These days, Millennials are accused of all sorts of economic and cultural crimes, from the foundering DVD and compact disc markets to slumping breakfast cereal sales. While much of this is exaggerated, it is clear that they are transforming the power lawn and garden equipment industry. It all comes down to their preference against home ownership.
The Dream Deferred
Owning a home was once the embodiment of the American Dream, but the Great Recession and its attendant horrors (declining home values, unemployment, mounting personal debt) made buying and keeping a house a risky proposition, particularly for young people still trying to find their footing after college.
Although the recession has long since ended, a 2012 Federal Reserve report indicates that first-time mortgages among 29- to 34-year-olds was substantially lower than it was in the prior decade. And fewer first-time home buyers means fewer first-time homes -and fewer lawns to mow.
Among the chief reasons behind Millennials’ lack of home ownership are:
- Poor credit scores
- Postponement of marriage and children
- Insufficient savings
Without the necessary credit score and down payment, buying a home is all but impossible. And with many young couples delaying marriage and starting a family (due in large part to financial considerations), there is simply no need for the large house with the white picket fence and yard to mow. Many Millennials seem content with apartment living for the time being.
Baby Boomers to the Rescue... Sort Of
Although Millennials may be negatively impacting the power lawn and garden equipment market, baby boomers are helping it. These older Americans are more likely to own a home - and a yard that needs care. Older homeowners often opt for powered equipment like riding mowers because they minimize exertion. And this older demographic often outsources lawn and garden care to professional landscapers, which will boost demand for higher-value, commercial-grade power lawn and garden equipment.
But it’s not a completely rosy outlook on the baby boomer side. Significant numbers of older homeowners are opting to downsize and move to apartments, where routine maintenance chores like yardwork are minimal. This will inevitably hinder sales of power lawn and garden equipment.
For More Information
To learn about the power lawn and garden equipment industry, check out Power Lawn and Garden Equipment Market in the US, a comprehensive industry forecast from the Freedonia Group, which provides analysis on the following:
- Historical demand data and forecasts
- Market environment factors
- Industry structure
- Company market share
- US industry competitors
About the Author:
Joseph Iorillo is a researcher and writer at The Freedonia Group where he contributes to studies on a wide array of topics, including consumer and industrial goods, chemicals, and packaging.