Millennials are just like everyone else

Millennials are just like everyone else, at least when it comes to housing.

Writing for Bloomberg Briefs on Monday, Douglas Duncan and Sara Shahdad of Fannie Mae note that millennials want to own houses just as much as previous generations.

“Evidence from Fannie Mae’s National Housing Survey suggests that many renters aged 18-34 see their current ability to own, not a lack of desire to own, as the primary reason they remain renters,” Duncan and Shahdad write.

“In fact, their desire eventually to own their homes is no different from that of their parents and previous generations. Most millennial renters tell us that they think owning makes more sense than renting from a financial perspective: because you’re protected against rent increases and owning is a good investment over the long term.”

According to Fannie Mae’s latest housing survey, 96% of millennials are optimistic that they will eventually own a home, and Duncan and Shahdad write:

Many millennials seem to be actively working toward this goal: millennial renters most often say that their primary reason for renting now is to prepare financially for homeownership in the future. This seems to be accepted as a necessary step with no stigma attached to renting as a choice — as seen in the longer renting experience of millennials as they work through their decision potentially to purchase a home.

Duncan and Shahdad also note, however, that a “historically high number” of young adults (read: millennials) are living at home. The reasons behind this, they write, are to either keep college costs low or to save money for forming their own households.

Recently, we’ve seen a notable uptick in household formation as the unemployment rate for 25-34 year olds has plummeted, giving some credence to the idea that as millennials grow up, they will move out, start families, buy homes, and be just like their parents.

This, of course, is in contrast to the idea popularised by older generations who think millennials are just the worst, even though the reality is that millennials are just like every other generation.

For better and worse.

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