Most Renters Think They’ll Never Be Able to Buy a Home

Congrats to the half (51.5%) of Millennials who have moved into their own homes, unpacked boxes and now are walking their pandemic-adopted dogs in new neighborhoods and planting flowers and pulling weeds from their landscaped lawns. 

However, the remaining half or a bit fewer still rent. And many are discouraged and beginning to think they’ll become what’s now termed “forever renters.” Maybe, they will, and maybe they won’t, if interest rates go down, housing inventory goes up, they pay down debt and pull together a downpayment.

But in the meantime, their numbers reflect a changing trend. This cohort is taking longer than prior generations did to reach the homeownership milestone, according to Apartment List’s 2023 Millennial Homeownership Report.

Moreover, nothing much is expected to change, according to another survey from Home Bay, which just reported that a staggering 72% think they will never be able to afford a house. Home Bay, a real estate education platform, surveyed 1,000 renters and found they’re generally very pessimistic. In fact, two out of three or 65% said the current listing prices make them feel hopeless and 28% think homeownership is no longer part of the American Dream. In addition, 61% think Millennials and Gen  Z will “never reach the same homeownership rates as baby boomers.”

Does this type of mindset also become more of a self-fulfilling prophecy?

Not all paint such a gloomy scenario, however. Gary Painter, a professor at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California, thinks the younger generation will make up ground eventually, explaining, “A portion of Millennials and zoomers may have homeowning grandparents. At some point, these (generations) may be able to buy due to inheritances but will become homeowners after their parents did.”

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