The Myths of Millennial Homebuyers Busted
Millennial Myths: Why Aren’t They Buying Homes? As a culture, we really like to put people into neat boxes. And that is especially true when it comes to generations. How often do we talk about Baby Boomers, GenX, or Millennials as if those are cemented categories without any nuance?
It’s true, there are some personality traits that can be tracked between each group, but that isn’t always the whole story. For instance, it is currently assumed that most millennials can’t or won’t buy a home. But when you consider that the oldest millennials turned or are turning 38 in 2017, that can’t possibly be the case for everyone. Can these myths about millennials actually be harmful when it comes to creating a culture where home buying is achievable? They are, so let’s take a moment to bust them.
They have too much student debt to buy a house.
There has been a lot of information circulating about the debt concerns of millennials and how this impacts the housing market. You can read about it here on Bloomberg and the Boston Globe discusses the implications of this student debt here. But it is never quite that cut and dry. The truth is, low participation in the housing market by first time homebuyers does affect the entire economy, but to put every millennial into the delayer category isn’t appropriate either.
But millennials do want to be home owners, they just may get there on a path different than the experience of past generations. First, it is important to note that home buying is down among all age groups, so it isn’t just millennials that are affecting the market. Ultimately, the market is affecting everyone. But specifically related to loans, that’s where we get into trouble with assumptions.
As this Forbes article shows, this may be a cycle. It was something we saw in 2008 as well, and it certainly wasn’t millennials struggling to buy homes at that time. Employment is affected by education, and education affects salary levels, so there is much more at work here than just too much debt.
Mortgages cost more than rent anyway.
There is also the story of the boomerang millennials; those who return home after graduating from college. But it’s still just a small demographic within the generation. In fact, another myth that some people believe is that millennials will continue renting rather than buying a home because it’s more economically feasible.
Of course, there may be cases where renting can be cheaper than buying, especially in areas where affordability is a concern like Asheville, NC, or the Bay Area in California. But that isn’t the entire story, of course.
Millennials aren’t not buying houses because it’s cost prohibitive, but rather because it’s impractical for this stage in their lives. Unlike previous generations, Millennials are much more likely to change employment as often as once a year. They may move from place to place and or wildly vary their income along the way. They may delay marriage or having children or decide not to do either.
While this may mean that home buying is delayed, it doesn’t mean millennials will never consider their options to purchase their own homes.
They’re stubborn and not willing to work with an agent.
Of course, some stereotypes are just plain hurtful. It’s true, we’ve heard some people in older generations declare that millennials are spoiled children and unable to work well with others. But is this truly about the millennials or more of a statement on the boomers and genXers who aren’t willing to work with them. Who’s stubborn anyway?
This open letter to real estate agents really sums up what many millennials think when they’re trying to enter the conventional home buying market in an unconventional way. It may be time for the old guard to consider new ways to approach building relationships with the newest generation of wanna-be home owners.
So, if you’re a millennial looking for a home, a seller looking for a buyer, or an agent, it’s important that we bust these myths about the youngest home buying generation before it’s too late.
Do you want to learn more about options to buy a home? Contact Zachery Adam and the team at Prime Mortgage Lending, Inc today.