18 Jan Are Millennials Re-defining the American Dream?

The housing buyer market is low, but not for reasons you may think.


The Millennial buyer market is a completely different market than that of Gen X, or even Boomer generations. Because of economic changes that have swept across the nation over the past two decades, consumer attitudes about homeownership have changed dramatically. Recent data from a Housing Opportunities and Market Experience Survey by the National Association of Realtors has intriguing findings to back this up.

The most interesting report findings reveal that the majority (88 percent) of U.S. households believe owning a home is a good financial decision. While a high percentage of households believe that owning a home is still a part of the American dream, just under half of all households (44 percent) still believe the economy is in a recession, even though the desire to own a home remains strong.

“It is all about perception,” states Sibet Freides, principal at Idea Associates. “Many people may not feel as economically successful today as others did in the past, and the general population needs to become more accepting that the US economy is growing at a slower, more even pace.”

In the renter segment, the majority of those who rent do want to own a home in the future, but feel that affordability is the biggest barrier between them and their dream home, according to survey findings. They also believe that America is still in a recession, and most don’t feel confident in their ability to obtain a mortgage.

“The millennial hesitation to buy is not only financial, but lifestyle oriented as well. This demographic enjoys walkability, ease of services, and the social side of living in the city, so the majority are choosing to stay in-town and rent as opposed to moving to the suburbs where home prices are generally less expensive,” Freides enumerates.

In looking ahead to the next six months, survey findings reveal the trend that individuals who believe the recession is in an upswing will be more optimistic about not only owning a home, but home prices as well.

“Marketers will need to continue to find new ways to change the current perception of the modern renter/homebuyer, and, as the decision to go from renting to owning a home comes with significant lifestyle changes, developers will need to find different ways to appeal to their preferred lifestyle in order be successful,” she adds.


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Sibet B Freides