Millennials Struggling to Find Equitable Housing Options

Millennials Struggling to Find Equitable Housing Options

Of all current U.S. home buyers on the market, roughly 33% are older millennials between the ages of 25 and 34 years old. A third of the market is certainly substantial, but the millennial generation as a whole is still having tremendous difficulty finding quality and affordable housing all over the United States.

The average millennial might not be too familiar with the ins and outs of home ownership, which could make some buyers hesitant. Little interest in manual labor and more reliance on technology likely means some people don’t know how to perform important household tasks like replacing the air filters on their HVAC units (which should be done at least once every three months) and other essential projects.

Though lack of home maintenance skills might deter a few millennial buyers from making a housing offer, that’s not even close to the main reason the majority of millennials aren’t able to find equitable housing.

Debt, location, the comfort of staying at home, and plain affordability are all major contributing factors as to why millennials aren’t able to break into the housing market more effectively.

“In many cities, the housing market is extremely competitive, especially for first-time buyers who are looking to purchase a starter home,” said Svenja Gudell, chief economist at Zillow.

According to Builder, millennial buyers who are hoping to make a down payment on a home in certain parts of the country like California and Connecticut have to spend upwards of 20 years saving for a single down payment.

Young buyers in Los Angeles, San Francisco, and San Jose, have to save for 32.2 years, 28.7 years, and 27.9 years respectively in order to afford a single down payment (20%) on a home. The average down payment in San Jose, which is the highest in the country, is $147,415. Conversely, in cities like Dayton, Ohio, Buffalo, New York, and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, buyers are able to spend significantly less time saving up to make much cheaper down payments.

Out of all the top 100 Metropolitan Statistical Areas (MSAs) in the country, only two experienced increases in millennial home ownership — Scranton-Wilkes-Barre-Hazleton, Penn. at 12.1% and Buffalo-Cheektowaga-Niagara Falls, N.Y., at 3.8%.

“It’s not a reflection on the millennials; it’s a reflection of where we are as a society,” said Derrick Feldmann, a researcher who has conducted extensive studies on the younger generations as part of the Millennial Impact Project.

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