Forget What You Heard: Millennials Are Buying Homes in Surprising Numbers

Adults under 35 make up the largest generation of homebuyers in the market, and Texas millennials fare particularly well.  

By Becky Fogel & Lucía BenavidesJanuary 27, 2016 1:20 pm

Millennials are a financially doomed generation – or so goes the popular narrative.

A whole generation scraped together their pennies and moved back in with Mom and Dad. They’re under enormous amounts of debt, working a never-ending string of internships and low-paying jobs in the service sector. Prospects for homeownership are next to nil. This may be the end of the American Dream as we know it. It’s a storyline so prevalent that it’s made its way into sitcoms and movies.

But the numbers may tell a different story.

Jessica Lautz, a researcher for the National Association of Realtors, says that millennials are the largest generation of homebuyers for the third consecutive year. Among those that rent, a vast majority aspire to be homeowners one day.

“We actually know from our new homes survey is that those who are 34 and younger and are renters, they do aspire to be homeowners at 94 percent,” Lautz says. “That’s actually larger than what we see for other generations.”

The stereotypes about living with parents and massive loan debt aren’t entirely wrong, though.

“There are those who are living in their parents’ home while they pay off their student loan debt and perhaps even save for a down payment on their house,” Lautz says. “But we do know that once they have steady employment, or do have a life partner, a spouse and start thinking about a family, that they do actually want to get out.”

Lautz says that millennial home ownership in Texas trends slightly higher than the national average. That’s because of a slight financial edge.

“What we have seen in Texas is that your student loan debt levels are actually lower than what we have seen in other areas when we look at the west, south-central subregion,” she says.