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Millennials Are Ready to Become Homeowners, But Facing Challenges

By: Kelly Leighton on in

The idea of the American Dream is still relevant for younger generations.

A recent realtor.com® survey found that becoming a homeowner is a goal for most millennials and Generation Z members as a part of obtaining the American Dream, according to 59% of respondents. Would-be buyers had a few other reasons for their goal of homeownership. One-third said they want to live in a space they can invest in improving, 31% said they want more space and 22% said they want to build equity.

However, with the current housing market, these potential millennial and Generation Z buyers are struggling to find a property. Forty-three percent of respondents have been actively looking to buy a home for more than year, while 33% have been looking for six to 12 months and 14% have been looking for three to six months. Yet that is not the only roadblock for homebuyers, as finances come into play. Forty-four percent said they do not have enough for a down payment, while 34% cannot find a home within their budget. Millennials are the generation struggling most with these challenges.

These issues are not stopping would-be buyers from looking for their dream home. Location is the top factor, said 38%, followed by quietness at 33%, a large backyard at 32% and a garage at 29%. Only 11% would consider a fixer-up, with 43% wanting a move-in ready home. The majority (46%) would take a home that needs a little bit of TLC without being overwhelming.

“Americans, even millennials who many thought would never buy, have a strong preference for homeownership for the same reasons many generations before them have – to invest in a place of their own and in their communities and to build a solid financial foundation for themselves and their families,” said realtor.com® Senior Economist George Ratiu.  “However, today’s first-time homebuyers face unprecedented challenges brought on by a lack of available homes for sale and double-digit price growth. They are resilient though, with many in the market searching for their home for more than a year.”

Millennials and Generation Z still have some traits that set them apart from previous generations’ searches for their first home. Twenty-nine percent said they searched online first, with 30% checking once a day, if not more. Fifty-three percent expect at least some competition in the market, while 20% are expecting a lot of competition.

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