Why 90% of Millennial Renters Want to Own But Can’t

December 10, 2018

Nine out of 10 millennial renters say they want to purchase a home, but few are planning to do so in the near term, according to a new survey by rental website Apartment List. The chief reasons keeping them from homeownership are affordability (72 percent) and lack of savings for a down payment (62 percent), the survey of 6,400 young adult renters shows. Nearly 50 percent of respondents say they have zero savings, while only 11 percent have saved $10,000 or more.

Student debt is a main culprit, the survey finds. Twenty-three percent of college graduates without student debt could save enough for a down payment within the next five years compared to 12 percent of college graduates who do have student debt, according to the survey. However, down payment aid from family members is helping to make homeownership more attainable. Such help usually occurs among the highest millennial earners, the survey finds. Millennial renters who expect to receive assistance with a down payment tended to have incomes over $100,000 per year. They expect to receive $51,172 in financial aid from family toward a down payment. That is 10 times more than the average expected assistance of $4,358 from millennials who earn less than $25,000.

Apartment List chart

© Apartment List

Apartment List chart

© Apartment List

“Several long-term macroeconomic trends have made homeownership a difficult goal for millennials to attain,” Apartment List says in the survey results. “Much of the generation came of age during or in the aftermath of the Great Recession, resulting in limited opportunities and stagnant wage growth in the crucial early stages of millennials’ careers.”

Further, researchers found that two-thirds of millennial renters surveyed would need more than two decades to save for a 20 percent down payment based on their current savings rates. However, there are loan options for home buyers who don’t have enough savings for a 20 percent down payment.

Source: