U.S. Millennials and Real Estate - Statistics & Facts

If one were to picture what the American dream means to most Americans, some of the obvious elements include a successful career, a happy family, and of course, homeownership. The idea of homeownership as a symbol of success is so deeply ingrained in American culture that it is hardly ever questioned. However, in recent years this has shown signs of changing. Statistics have shown that Millennials, often defined as adults under the age of 35 years, are not buying homes as frequently as their parents or grandparents.

Although homeownership rates in 2017 still linger around 64 percent in the United States, there is a slight downward trend compared to rates from five years prior. A 2017 survey found that among all adult age groups, Millennials had the most pessimistic outlook about home purchases. This may have major implications for the housing markets of several major cities which have seen an influx of Millennials, such as the Riverside area of Southern California, or New Orleans, Louisiana.

A 2017 survey showed that only 11 percent of younger Millennials and 29 percent of older Millennials own their own home, most prefer to rent or live with friends or family. It was once considered a shameful thing for a grown man or woman to live with his or her parents, but in 2017 about 55 percent of adults aged 24 and under still lived with their parents, perhaps signaling a shift in what is considered normal and socially acceptable in America. Much of this could be attributed to rising college tuition and the vastly expanding student loan debt that has affected millions of young Americans. Some of the biggest obstacles for Millennials who wish to become homeowners are the costliness of the down payment, and the lack of financial security due to student loan debt .

This is not to say that Millennials are uninterested in becoming homeowners eventually. In 2016, 80 percent of U.S. Millennials reported that they plan to eventually buy a house or apartment, an increase from 74 percent in 2014. In fact, nearly 50 percent of new home owners in cities such as Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C. are Millennials. In spite of the gloomy financial situation that many Millennials find themselves in, a 2017 survey reported that 44 percent of Millennials plan to purchase a home within the next five years.

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