Dear housing industry, “Millennials want homes”

Just give us some time

After an hour discussing the ins and outs of Millennials with housing’s top economists at a recent conference, there was one point that was continuously reiterated in everyone’s speech.

Millennials want to buy. And we are many.

Check out tthis chart from Mark Palim, vice president for applied economic and housing research with Fannie Mae.

Click to enlarge


Fannie Mae

Source: Fannie Mae

Yes, there are roadblocks to Millennials jumping into housing right now, but this is often translated to “Oh no! Millennials are not buying and all the work that has gone into the economic recovery is going to come to a screeching halt.”


As Nela Richardson, chief economist at Redfin, so eloquently said in the panel, millennials, unlike other generations, are willing to wait on the sidelines until a house comes up that they truly love.

We are a patient generation.

I had the unique opportunity to moderate the Millennial housing panel at the Housing Policy Center’s 12th annual meeting. Ned Myers, capital markets executive with Black Knight Financial Services, as well as Palim, were also on the panel to help get the discussion rolling.

Richardson’s question about patience came after I asked her whether Millennials need a reality check on wanting it all.

Click to enlarge


Source: Redfin 

For a more in-depth explanation of the obstacles millennials face, read this article on the panel session.

While right now, millennials are not buying homes, which is what most people get caught up in, the truth is, 92% of millennials who don't own a home say they plan to buy in the next four years, as Richardson noted.

And Richardson was not the only one to make this point, with Myers and Palim both pointing to Millennials slowly moving into the housing market. 

If there was one takeaway from the discussion, it would be that Millennials are not that different from their predecessors when it comes to housing. Factors like student loans and credits scores might create a temporary struggle, but ultimately, we want a place to eventually call home, too. 

3d rendering of a row of luxury townhouses along a street

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