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Despite Challenges, Millennials Remain Optimistic About Homeownership

July 31, 2015 | by Katie Claflin

Categories: Affordable Housing, First Time Buyer, Homeownership

The Pew Research Center estimates that in 2015 millennials (defined as those between the ages of 18 and 34) will surpass baby boomers as the nation’s largest living generation. 

By the end of the year, there will be a projected 75.3 million millennials in America, compared with 74.9 million baby boomers.

Due to its sheer size, it’s no wonder that the millennial generation has been the focus of so much discussion over the past few years.  According to Jed Kolko, Chief Economist for Trulia, “Whatever this age group does, whether it’s housing or jobs or consumer spending, will have a big effect on the economy.”

For this week’s blog post, we would like to share the results of the most recent How Housing Matters study, which was conducted by Hart Research on behalf of the MacArthur Foundation. The study interviewed more than 1,400 adults, including an oversampling of millennials, about their experiences, attitudes and perceptions about the housing market.

Below is an overview of some of the report’s key findings, as summarized in a Wall Street Journal blog post:

  • More than seven in 10 Americans believe that millennials have it harder when it comes to saving for retirement (81%); owning a home (76%); having a stable, decent-paying job (71%); and having stable, affordable housing (71%).
  • 67% of millennials have had to take actions such as working more (34%), not saving for retirement (19%), cutting back on healthy food (18%), or accumulating credit-card debt (17%) to pay their rent or mortgage.
  • These challenges have caused many millennials to re-assess the feasibility of homeownership, with 52% indicating that renting has become more appealing.

Despite the challenges, the How Housing Matters study also finds that millennials are optimistic about their future as homeowners. For example, 73% of millennials who are not homeowners indicate that it is at least a medium-level priority for them. Additionally, 60% of millennials believe that buying a home continues to be an excellent long-term investment.

Millennials’ views on homeownership are likely to play a major role in the housing market in the coming years.  To learn more about millennials' housing challenges and preferences, we recommend the following resources:

National Association of REALTORS®: Millennials Are Ready to Buy Their First Homes, but Challenges Await

Los Angeles Times: Millennials are Finally Entering Home Buying Market

National Association of REALTORS®: The 8 Fastest-Growing Cities for Millennials


On the House blog posts are meant to provide general information on various housing-related issues, research and programs. We are not liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the information provided by blog sources. Furthermore, this blog is not legal advice and should not be used as a substitute for legal advice from a licensed professional attorney.

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