Data released by eBay in the UK today showed that Millennials are splashing the cash on decorative knick-knacks and homeware to make the most of smaller rental spaces. eBay’s annual UK Retail Report reveals how Millennials are “spending in the present” – and what they’re buying. “As a nation, we are waiting longer to buy property, and more of us are unable to get on the housing ladder as home ownership has slumped to just 63% of the population, down from 73% a decade ago. Millennials are the most impacted, with 40% renting into their thirties, amid predictions that 1 in 3 may not end up buying a house at all. As a consequence, eBay UK has identified a generation of renters who are “spending in the present” – splashing the cash on high-end homeware and home comforts rather than saving for long-term goals. The Report revealed that these purchases not only add a level of luxury to rental homes, but also act as status symbols among the millennial set in lieu of owning a house. Shrinking spaces both in rental homes and new-build houses have also seen the nation downsizing their furniture, and even their pets.

Rob Hattrell, UK Vice President of eBay, said, “When it comes to shopping trends, if it’s happening in Britain, we’ll see it happening on eBay. We’re seeking smaller, more distinctive and unusual homewares that we can readily pack up and take with us when we decide to move on.  We’re increasingly finding inspiration for our homes on the go, or from browsing Instagram or Pinterest – with a high percentage of sales on mobile. Our data marks a sea change in the way British customers are shopping for their homes today.”

eBay is releasing the data as part of its 2018 annual UK Retail Report, which provides a snapshot on the way the UK shops and sells. It coincides with the marketplace’s 23rd birthday.

Putting down roots
Inherently Instagrammable and known for boosting mental health, plants are proving popular among Millennials who wish to “put down roots” in their rental homes – as well as the broader British population. eBay data released today shows huge increases in searches for indoor plants, suggesting that across the nation, we’re looking to bring our gardens inside. The online marketplace saw a 69% year-on-year increase in searches for plant stands, which allow for beautiful presentation of perfectly potted plants. It’s clear that our windowsills aren’t big enough to hold the spoils of our indoor gardening obsession – and we’re looking for new storage solutions for our greenery.

Solutions for shrinking homes
City dwellers in particular are growing accustomed to more compact living spaces, with the average lounge in new-build homes 32% smaller than equivalent homes built in the ‘70s. Brits have adapted by investing in products which enable them to make the most of these spaces. But they’re still keen to create a sense of luxury. eBay data also shows that when it comes to the bedroom, they’re willing to splash out to ensure they get a good night’s sleep:

Pint-sized pets
More than half of all households in the UK own at least one pet – and for Millennials pets hold a particular significance, with 44% viewing their furry friends as “starter children”. Yet eBay data suggests our smaller homes are seeing all us opting for smaller, or indoor pets.