Housing costs a ‘strain’ for most of Generation X, millennials

By Kelly Leighton | Sept. 27, 2017 | 2 min. read

More than half of millennials and Generation X members report their rent or mortgage payment is a strain on their budget every month.

According to a national survey from Unison Home Ownership Investors, 60 percent of millennials, 58 percent of Generation X and 43 percent of baby boomers feel this way.

Fifty-six percent of millennials and 47 percent of baby boomers are concerned about the cost to buy/own a home. Saving for a down payment is the largest obstacle, according to 41 percent across generations, while 30 percent struggle to get approved for a loan. More than half of participants said that due to low salary and debt, they struggle to save funds. Thirty percent think a 10 percent down payment for a mortgage is adequate, and 24 percent said a 5 percent down payment is reasonable.

Rising rents puts many consumers in a bind. Fifty-seven percent of renters said it was a “major concern,” while the price of homes on the market is a concern for 53 percent.

However, 65 percent of millennials, 59 percent of Generation X and 51 percent of baby boomers said mortgages are an “opportunity to own a home by the time they retire.” And 77 percent of respondents reported that purchasing a home is a good financial decision, while 63 percent said owning a home can help reduce both rental and moving stress and anxiety.

High-quality schools and good job opportunities are so important that 46 percent of respondets said they would “accept financial strain” to live near the two.

“While this survey confirms that saving enough money for a down payment is the biggest financial barrier, we also found that there is a missed opportunity for those who do not understand the benefits of home ownership, and that there are alternative financing options available,” said Brian Elbogen, director of research, Unison.

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