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They did it! They finally did it! Well… half of them, at least.
Over 50% of millennials now own a house, according to US data, meaning the most talked-about, most irritable, and possibly (if you ask them) the most shafted generation in modern American history is finally growing up, at least financially.
The Realty World
The laundry list of life complaints from 25-to-39-year-olds about what their generation has endured is certainly legitimate: a post-9/11 malaise, the financial crash of 2008, the world-shifting times of the COVID-19 pandemic, and now the upside-down land of rapid inflation and climbing interest rates. Today’s larger down-payments and surging mortgage rates have indeed placed a high barrier to entry for first-time homeowners.
But all that obscures a rosier reality that those habitual complainers often gloss over: the historically low-interest rates through much of last decade, and depressed home values in its earliest years, made the 2010s one of the most fortuitous times ever for prospective buyers — allowing many of the millennials just old enough to remember Michael Jordan’s heyday to get into the market before the pandemic caused home values to spike. It’s why the generation is now split between the haves (a house) and the I’ll-never-ever-haves (a house):
- 51.5% of millennials now own a home, according to US Census data from last year. Around 42% of the generation owned a home by age 30, compared with 48% of Gen Xers and over half of Baby Boomers at that age.
- On the other hand, an increasing number of millennials say they’re locked out for life. Roughly 25% of millennial respondents to a 2022 survey from real estate site Apartment List said they plan on renting forever, up from around just 14% in 2019.
Location, Location, Location: It’s not exactly surprising knowing where millennials are having the most home-owning success. After all, not every space on the Monopoly board costs as much as Boardwalk or Park Place. According to Bloomberg, 63% of the cohort in Grand Rapids, Michigan own a home, while just 27% do in Los Angeles. The only question now is if coastal types can afford the cross-country U-Haul rental…