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Phil Soper: Millennial housing intentions

In the housing industry we pay particular attention to the behavioural patterns of millennials, those in their mid-20s to late 30s now, because they are the largest population cohort in North American history; larger even than the previous mega-population, the baby boomer generation.

New data, including that from America’s NAR, has busted some myths related to millennial’s economic intentions.

Myth 1: Millennials are perennial renters who aren’t interested in homeownership

Royal LePage research found that home ownership among those aged 25 to 35 grew rapidly in the post-lockdown months of 2020, climbing to 48 per cent at the beginning of 2021. Subsequent study reveals that 92 per cent of millennials believe owning a home is a good financial investment and 68 per cent of those who are currently renting are pursuing ownership for their own families.

Further, TD Bank research shows many young adults feel an urgency to act when it comes to home ownership. Fifty-one per cent said they were willing to take part in a bidding war in order to own a home, compared to 30 per cent in the 35 to 54-years-old bracket, and only 18 per cent in the 55+ category.

Myth 2: Millennials are urban creatures who just want to live in the city

Yes, millennials embraced the excitement of city-centre, condominium living in numbers far greater than their boomer parents. Yet, while many cherish urban living, older millennials in particular are now heading to the suburbs in a pattern that looks very similar to that which previous generations adopted. They are migrating a little later in life simply because they are having children later. It is clear that millennials’ desire for the “white picket fence” lifestyle is real.

Myth 3: Millennials need parents’ money to buy a home

While many of the boomer parents of millennials intend to or have helped their kids into home ownership, many young families are doing it on their own. In fact, NAR finds that a full third of older millennials are using the proceeds from the sale of their first homes, typically smaller condos, in order to upgrade to a family-sized property; a time-tested path to fulfill the dream of owning your own home.

by Phil Soper Oct 25, 2021