Do Millennials Still Consider Homeownership Part of the American Dream?

By April 17, 2021 Real Estate
Millennial homebuyers

Since the birth of our nation, homeownership has always been considered a major piece of the American Dream. As Frederick Peters reports in Forbes:

 

“The idea of a place of one’s own drives the American story. We became a nation out of a desire to slip the bonds of Europe, which was still in many respects a collection of feudal societies. Old rich families, or the church, owned all the land and, with few exceptions, everyone else was a tenant.

The magic of America lay not only in its sense of opportunity, but also in the belief that life could in every way be shaped by the individual. People traveled here not just for religious freedom, but because in America anything seemed possible.”

 

A research paper released just prior to the shelter-in-place orders issued last year also concludes:

 

“Homeownership is undeniably the cornerstone of the American Dream, and is inseparable from our national ethos that, through hard work, every American should have opportunities for prosperity and success. It is the stability and wealth creation that homeownership provides that represents the primary mechanism through which many American families are able to achieve upward socioeconomic mobility and greater opportunities for their children.”

 

That dream is baked into the very fibers of our nation, and would take much more than a single pandemic or market crash to undo. That desire for individuality and self-sufficiency instilled in most Americans still translates directly into the dream of homeownership.

As long as America is still America, most people will still want to eventually buy a home.

Has the past year changed the American view on homeownership?

Definitely not. A survey of prospective homebuyers released by realtor.com last week reveals that becoming a homeowner is still the main reason this year’s first-time homebuyers want to purchase a home. When asked why they want to buy, three of the top four responses center on the financial benefits of owning a home. The top four reasons for buying are:

  • 59% – “I want to be a homeowner”
  • 33% – “I want to live in a space that I can invest in improving”
  • 31% – “I need more space”
  • 22% – “I want to build equity”

Millennials believe most strongly in homeownership

The survey also reports that 62% of millennials say a desire to be a homeowner is the main reason they’re buying a home. This contradicts the thinking of some experts who had believed millennials were going to be the first “renter generation” in our nation’s history.

While reporting on the survey, George Ratiu, Senior Economist at realtor.com, said:

 

“Americans, even millennials who many thought would never buy, have a strong preference for homeownership for the same reasons many generations before them have — to invest in a place of their own and in their communities, and to build a solid financial foundation for themselves and their families.”

 

Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist for First American, also addresses millennial homeownership:

 

“Millennials have delayed marriage and having children in favor of investing in education, pushing marriage and family formation to their early-to-mid thirties, compared with previous generations, who primarily made these lifestyle choices in their twenties…Delayed lifestyle choices delay the desire for homeownership.”

 

Kushi goes on to explain:

 

“As more millennials get married and form families, millennials remain poised to transform the housing market. In fact, the housing market is already experiencing the earliest gusts of the tailwind.”

So we can conclude, as it always has been and very likely always will be, homeownership continues to be a major component in every generation’s pursuit of the American Dream. More than that though – there are some who might say that Millennials are quickly becoming one of the most motivated generations of homebuyers (which may shape up into an extremely competitive market in the coming years).

Millennial Buyers Are Serious about Purchasing a Home

Today’s homebuyers are not just talking about their plans, they’re actively engaged in the buying process – and they’re serious about it. A recent report by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) indicates:

 

“…. Of American adults considering a future home purchase in the second quarter of 2020, about half (49%) are not simply planning it, they are actively engaged in the process to find a home. That is a significantly higher share than the comparable figure a year ago (41%), which suggests that the COVID-19 crisis and its accompanying record-low mortgage rates have converted some prospective buyers into active buyers.”

millennial homebuyers

It’s no surprise that buyers are out in full force today. Many Americans now need more space to work from home, and the current low mortgage rates are providing an extra boost of motivation to enter the housing market.

If you’re considering selling your house, know that today’s buyers are serious about making a move. Your opportunity to sell your house in a market with high demand is growing, especially as more millennials enter the housing market too. The same report also notes:

 

Of Millennials planning a home purchase in the next year, 57% are already actively searching for a home.”

 

Odeta Kushi, Deputy Chief Economist at First American, explains:

 

“When breaking down house-buying power by educational attainment for millennials in 2019, we find that the higher the education, the higher the household income, and the higher the house-buying power. In 2019, median house-buying power for millennials increased 16 percent relative to 2018.”

 

As demand for homes to buy grows and more millennials enter the market with growing buying power, the opportunity to sell your house grows too.

Bottom Line

Today’s buyers are serious ones, and more millennials are helping to fuel that charge. So, if you’re considering selling your home, let’s connect today to determine your next steps in the process while buyers are actively looking.

Mary Byrnes

Author Mary Byrnes

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