The majority of millennials are renters, not homeowners — but a new survey shows they would buy houses if they could.
According to Housing Opportunities and Market Experience (HOME), a quarterly consumer survey released by the National Association of Realtors for the first time in December, 94 percent of renters age 34 and younger want to own a home. Seventy-seven percent even consider homeownership as part of the American Dream.
But, more than half of renters are not currently pursuing that dream because they can’t afford to buy.
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, says that regardless of the financial hindrance facing millennials, study findings discredit the idea that young adults aren’t interested in purchasing homed.
“Despite entering the workforce during or immediately after the worst financial and housing crisis, the desire to become a homeowner appears to be a personal goal for a convincing majority of young renters,” Yun says. “Furthermore, there appears to be a sizeable, pent-up demand for buying that currently remains untapped because of a variety of economic and personal reasons impacting many households.”
Thirty-three-percent of renters say they would likely buy a home in the future based on lifestyle changes including marriage, starting a family or retirement. An improved financial situation was also a factor for 26 percent of respondents.
“A combination of factors such as rising rent and home prices, limited supply, repaying student debt, and getting married and having children later in life have more to do with the currently underperforming share of first-time buyers than the idea that buying a home is not as desirable as it used to be,” Yun says.