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Millennials Impacting Homeownership

Millennials are bucking trends, changing the landscape of America, and sharply different from previous generations in many different ways. One of the most visible and consequential ways is through millennial homeownership numbers, according to experts on generational trends and homeownership.
Jessica Lautz, managing director of survey research at NAR, agreed that homeownership among millennials is taking a hit. Student loan debt, flat wages, rising home prices (making it harder to get into the homeownership game) and rising rents (complicating the saving process), are delaying milestones such as marrying and having children – major events in life that often cause young people to buy a home.
First-time buyers have in the past accounted for about 40 percent of homebuyers; however, NAR data show that number has trended downward since 2011 and currently sits at 32 percent. And while married couples are the largest group of buyers (currently 67 percent of all buyers), single females make up the second largest group of buyers, and that share has also dropped from 22 percent in 2006 to 15 percent in 2015.
Still, one big thing hasn’t changed, according to Lautz. “Even with all these statistics showing how things have changed for millennials and the fact that they are worse off financially than previous generations had been, the median age of first-time buyers has stayed relatively unchanged at 31,” Lautz said. “This means that they are ready and willing to buy if they can in fact break into the market. It’s getting more difficult to get to that point, but the desire to do so hasn’t changed.”
And while the path to homeownership is harder now for millennials carrying student debt, dealing with rising rents, and experiencing stagnant wages, NAR research shows that millennials still see the value in owning a home.
The National Association of Realtors®, “The Voice for Real Estate,” is America’s largest trade association, representing 1.1 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.

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