Job instability and crushing student debt have forced millennials to become a generation of renters, but as they approach their thirties – home ownership is looking more desirable. Steadily rising rents and the prospect of children are pushing millennials out of their rental bubble, and into the housing market. Goldman Sachs reported that an overwhelming percentage of millennials would like to own a home in the future – a whopping 92 percent – and it seems a majority are saying “it’s now or never.”
According to Rent Jungle, as of March 2017 – the average apartment rent within the Portland city limits was $1,612, with one bedrooms going for an average of $1,472/month, followed by two bedroom apartments at $1,833/month. As millennials settle into job security and marriage, the reality of needing to save money for the future sets in – and most would rather invest in their own home than throw it away on rent. The National Association of Realtors reported in their 2017 Generational Trends Report that over the course of the past four years, buyers 36 years and younger have comprised the largest chunk of home buyers at 34 percent, even though nearly half of those studied reported student loan debt.
Though some millennials are feeling confident in their ability to buy, home prices are continuing to soar. The median listing price in Portland according to Realtor.com has reached a staggering $500k, up $200k in the past three years, and consequently there are still plenty of young people left to fill those apartment buildings – mainly because they simply can’t afford anything else. According to the Zillow Group Consumer Housing Trends report, nearly 70 percent of millennial renters have an annual salary less than $50,000 – which means that home ownership for many is more along the lines of “it’s maybe sometime in the future…or really never.”
– Alicia Cunningham