Survey Pins Down Millennials’ Intentions about Buying a Home

Posted on Sep 11 2015 - 9:00am by John Voket
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millennial home buyers recently delivered an ambitious study on millennials and their intentions about buying homes. The site's inaugural Apartment List Renter Confidence Survey drew on data from nearly 6,000 millennial renters (age 18 to 34) at a time when homeownership for Americans under 35 years old is at its lowest point in the history of Census recorded data dating back to 1984.

Key findings of the report include the following:

  • 53 percent of millennials who expect to buy homes plan to wait until after 2018, but age and marital status play a big role

  • 74 percent of millennials (respondents ages 18 to 34) plan to purchase a home in the future.  Only 9 percent of millennials expect to always rent, and 17 percent are unsure

  • While a large proportion of millennials plan to buy, only 25 percent expect to do so in the next two years and the majority (53 percent) plan to buy after 2018.

  • Renters over age 35 plan to purchase much sooner than millennials, with 50 percent planning to do so within the next two years

  • Within millennials, it was found that older millennials (age 25 to 34) plan to buy sooner than younger millennials (age 18 to 24) by a large margin: 54 percent of older millennials plan to buy within the next 3 years, versus only 37 percent for younger millennials

  • Marital status correlates strongly with timing to buy: 52 percent of married millennials plan to buy within the next 3 years versus only 41 percent for unmarried millennials.

  • Older, married millennials expect to buy the soonest, with 58 percent planning to own within the next 3 years, which is nearly twice the rate of younger, unmarried millennials (30 percent)

  • Homeownership aspirations are strongly tied to education levels: more than 77 percent of millennial renters who have a college degree (2 year degrees, 4 years degrees, and technical degrees) plan to buy homes, versus 67 percent for those with high school / GED degrees, and 63 percent for those who did not complete high school.

  • Millennials with graduate degrees have lower plans to buy than those with 2 or 4 years degrees (72 percent vs 77 percent) This outcome may be driven by the burden of student debt.