In what is being described as a historic shift, the millennial generation is now made up of more homeowners than renters, according to new data release by RentCafe. After years of being known as the “renter generation,” millennials tipped scale, largely due to the 7 million people in the generation who bought homes in the last five years, bringing the total percentage of millennial homeowners up to 52%. Now, according to the data, Gen Z, who range from 11 to 25 years old according to Pew Research, is the only age group made up of a majority of renters.
The conversation surrounding homeownership has long been used as a differentiator between millennials and their older counterparts, Gen X, and it has made the former group the butt of many real estate jokes. Still, memes and humor aside, most acknowledge that the economy hasn’t been in millennials’ favor for much of their adult lives. “Millennials graduated from high school in the late 2000s, just as the real estate market collapsed, then faced a tough job market and crippling student-loan debt after college. Now many are experiencing serious inflation for the first time in their adult lives,” The New York Times wrote in 2021 in an article that explained why so many millennials rented for so long.
Despite finally catching up with their parents and grandparents in the housing race, the average millennial still became a homeowner much later in life—though not by much. According to RentCafe, most millennials bought homes for the first time at 34, while Gen X’ers and baby boomers reached the milestone at 32 and 33, respectively.
RentCafe described millennials as being in their “prime homebuying years,” and explains that there are certain factors over the past few years that have “helped make their picket fence dreams come true.” The research company cited an improved economy and the pandemic, which resulted in many millennials moving in with parents and using extra income to save for down payments, as reasons for the change in the demographic.
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