Is COVID-19 convincing millennials that it may finally be time to buy a home?
A new survey from Morning Consult suggests that may be the case. More than one-quarter of millennials who don’t own a home, 28%, said they are more interested in purchasing one because of the pandemic.
The Morning Consult survey indicates that “the coronavirus could permanently shape the future financial priorities of millennials, currently the largest working cohort in the United States.” While older groups are more likely to have mortgages already, COVID has made many people who don’t own a home more likely to consider buying one. While 76% of baby boomers who don’t own a home say the pandemic hasn’t changed their interest in ownership, the number increased sharply among other groups. Twenty percent of all adults who don’t own a home, including 20% of Gen Zers and 19% of Gen Xers, say the pandemic has encouraged them to consider buying a home.
“Some of the generational difference in homeownership interest can likely be attributed to age: Millennials have already delayed home ownership, so those in the upper age bracket of that generation might simply be ready to move out of rented spaces, especially with coronavirus restrictions,” according to Morning Consult’s Claire Williams. “Most baby boomers who are able to own their own homes most likely already do, reflected in the highest percentage of those who said that their interest in homeownership hasn’t changed because of COVID-19 at 76 percent.”
Still, large portions of the population say that the pandemic hasn’t changed their interest in buying a home. According to Morning Consult, 58% of Gen Xers who don’t own a home haven’t changed their views on home ownership. For Millennials and Gen Z, that percentage was 49% and 41%, respectively.
The survey polled 4,400 adults from Sept. 8-10.
The home sales market has had a strong summer during the pandemic. Existing home sales have risen 10.5% in August from the same month last year.
Interest in buying a home and ability to do so are two different things. While COVID has changed home buying preferences, ownership is still out of reach for many Americans. Sharp increases in single-family home prices are moving faster than increasing wages and historic dips in mortgage rates, according to ATTOM Data Solutions.
“In a year when nothing is normal, owning a single-family home has become less affordable to average wage earners across the US, despite conditions that would seem to point the opposite way,” said Todd Teta, ATTOM’s chief product officer, in prepared remarks.
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