A recent study from the Urban Institute shows that many Millennials are forgoing home buying due to student debt and high rental costs.
The data is in: With a different socioeconomic makeup and different living preferences than generational predecessors, your Millennial employees are less likely to be homeowners than Gen Xers or baby boomers.
A recent report from the Urban Institute found that Millennial employees are more likely than their counterparts in older generations to delay marriage and childbearing, life milestones that often lead to homeownership.
And while Millennials as a whole are owning less homes, black and less educated Americans are falling even further behind. Minority households have homeownership rates close to 15 percentage points lower than white households. Additionally, there is a gap of about 10 percentage points in the homeownership rate for households with high school or less education versus those with some college education or more.
High rental costs and increasing student debt haven’t helped Millennials who are looking to save money for a down payment. In a recent federal survey, 53 percent of renters said a barrier to homeownership they faced was “I can’t afford a down payment to buy a home,” and 33 percent said “I can’t qualify for a mortgage to buy a home.”
The report also noted that Millennials prefer to live in high-cost cities with inelastic housing supplies. These cities — like the East Coast’s Boston and New York City and the West Coast’s San Francisco and Los Angeles — tend to have greater urban amenities and more job opportunities, making them more desirable for Millennials to live in.
To address these issues, the Urban Institute offered four key policy recommendations:
- Increase homeowner awareness and financial knowledge by providing online training as well as education in high school and college
- Utilize financial technology for a more efficient mortgage process
- Include rental and utility payment history data in Millennials’ creditworthiness evaluation
- Adapt land-use and zoning regulations to increase the housing stock
Whatever the next steps forward, it’s clear something has to change to enable a greater number of Millennial employees to set down more permanent roots and purchase homes.