Millennials and the Housing Market

July 28, 2020
Millennials and Housing
Now is the time for Millennials to be purchasing homes, but will they be able to?

There have been a couple of think pieces out recently on the topic of homeownership and the largest generational group in the history of the U.S. – Millennials, and they are saying two different things. First American economist Mark Fleming writes that the pandemic has delayed, not denied homeownership for this generational group. Fleming writes that Millennial household formation is a major demographic trend driving the increase in potential demand. “This year, the largest section of millennials will turn 30, entering their prime homeownership years,” according to Fleming. “Though the pandemic presents new challenges to achieving homeownership, millennial lifestyle decisions will continue to support potential homeownership demand in the years ahead, meaning millennials may be poised to fuel a ‘roaring 20s’ of homeownership demand.” The flip side to this forecast is less rosy. A report by suggests that the surge of unemployment in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic may cause further delays in the generation's homeownership aspirations. The report says millennials who dip into their savings accounts while out of work could find that it takes months, if not years, to recoup that amount. “Millennial renters looking to transition to homeownership have potentially been saving for a downpayment for years,” according to the report. “As of April, the median listing price of a home in the United States was $320,000. A downpayment of 10 percent would mean $32,000 in savings in preparation for this major life decision. Now, during COVID-19 uncertainty, many prospective homebuyers may be forced to draw from these downpayment savings to cover everyday living expenses. Depending on which market they live in, they may have to use more savings due to high rents and relatively tighter incomes.”