Brian Koss, executive vice president of Mortgage Network in Massachusetts, said millennials are putting off buying for multiple reasons — some are financial, some are emotional and some are quality of life issues.
“Generally speaking, millennials are more interested in experiences than material things,” Koss said. “They prioritize time with friends and personal time over financial achievement. For example, they will choose living somewhere that is convenient and suits their lifestyle, rather building equity in a less exciting town or neighborhood.”
Koss said since many millennials choose to live where they can’t afford to buy — it’s easier to rent. However, on the other hand rent is so high, it makes saving for a home impossible.
“Emotionally, many millennials view homeownership as a huge risk,” Koss added. “Because they saw family members deeply affected by the housing crisis, the American Dream is not only unattractive to many, but seems like a nightmare.”
John William Barger, a realtor in Tampa Bay, Florida, not only sells mainly to millennials, but is one himself.
“I can say without a doubt that my generation is waiting longer and longer to buy a home, and as prices continue to rise, it is becoming harder and harder to find anything in the $100,000 to $200,000 range,” Barger said.
Several factors have contributed to this trend, he said.
First, most millennials graduated college during the Great Recession, and most didn’t find suitable employment out of college. Couple that with crippling monthly student loan payments, and most people under the age of 35 can barely afford to rent an apartment, let alone save up for a down payment on a home.
He added that, culturally, millennials like instant gratification which translates to move-in ready homes, though at their price level, a fixer-upper is the best most can afford, he adds.
“This generation more and more eschews debt as well, tainted by their experience both with student loans as well as what they may have seen and experienced in their own families during the past five to ten years,” Barger said.
“As a result, I have several clients who have elected to live with their parents until 28 or even 30, choosing to take the money they would have been applying to rent and utilities towards a down payment on a home,” he said.